George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

Share this news



21 September 2018

Three quarters of UK households (74%) have used a charity in the last 12 months, though three out of every 10 people did not realise they were using one, according to new research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF).

CAF’s report, Charity Street III, shows how people and households use charitable services.

The report, the third in tracking the use of charitable services over a number of years, shows that nine in 10 households (90%) reported having used a charity’s services at some point - down from 98% in 2016.
CAF’s research found, however, that 29% of people were unaware that the services they used were run by charities.

The report found that those who do use charities are using these services more frequently. The 74% of households that reported using charities in the past 12 months used an average of 3.8 services, compared to 3.0 services in both 2016 and 2014. 18% of households that access charities are now doing so at least once a week (up from 14% in 2016). 

Charity Street III key findings

Other key findings of the Charity Street III report include:

  • Since 2016, the number of households reporting they had adopted a pet from a rescue charity has more than doubled – from 5% to 11%
  • 11% of households reported having received medical care from a charity
  • More than half (55%) of households bought something from a charity shop, down from 63% in 2016
  • Fewer households reported having visited a charity run gallery, museum, garden or stately home (31% vs 34% in 2016)

CAF Chief Executive Sir John Low said: “Charities are central to everyone’s lives. They provide help and advice; medical support and care; places in which to relax and enjoy, to learn and be inspired.

“Shockingly though, many of us simply don’t realise the things we might take for granted are provided by one of the tens of thousands of charities across the country. That is something all of us in charities need to change.

“This research really shows the huge impact charities have on people in this country and the way in which they bring us together to make Britain a better place.”

Read Charity Street III

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, or to arrange an interview, please call 03000 123 286 or e-mail

  2. The data in this report is based on the Charity Street III survey conducted in 2018, which collected information about charity use from adults aged 18 and over in the United Kingdom. The survey ran between 21st and 29th March 2018 as part of KANTAR TNS’ online omnibus. A total of 2,912 responses were collected and were weighted to be representative of the UK adult population.

  3. CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

  4. CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities.

  5. We are CAF and we make giving count; 
CTA Banner globe

Do you have a question?

Media Office

We aim to respond positively and openly to the wide range of media requests we receive. We can be contacted 24/7 and have an ISDN line for broadcast interviews.

Contact us 07917 128772

Our Research

We provide free research publications and analysis helping to influence the decisions of charities, companies, donors, policy-makers, researchers and journalists worldwide.

UK Giving 2019

Our UK Giving 2019 report reveals insights into giving behaviour in the UK.

Stay up to date with our publications

Get our latest research reports sent straight to your inbox.