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Donors more likely to give if the Government offers incentives, poll finds


13 August 2020

Four in 10 people who already donate money to charity said Government incentives such as top-ups make them more likely to give, according to a new survey.

The polling by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) signalled that Government incentives, such as Gift Aid and match funding, play a crucial role in increasing amounts given to good causes.

The research also found that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic more than half (55%) of those aged 35-44 were worried about their household income over the next six months.  Amongst 25-34 year olds it was 51%, while for those aged 16-24 it was 36%.  Only 24% of those aged over 65 were very worried or quite worried about their household income in the near future.

A coalition of leading voices in UK charities has recently called for a temporary increase in Gift Aid relief to help charities of all sizes trying to cope with the impact of the pandemic.  Charities have begun to announce job losses and service cuts and some fear they will have to shut their doors to the millions of people who rely on their services.

The proposed Gift Aid change would mean that a £100 donation from a UK tax payer would increase to £133.33 for the charity once Gift Aid had been claimed.  This compares to £125.00 as is currently the case.  As a result, the Gift Aid claimed on every eligible donation would increase by one-third, up from the current one-quarter.  The group have called for the increase to be in place for two years while charities work to recover from the crisis.

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at CAF, said:

“People want to do all they can and these survey results demonstrate that with extra encouragement from the Government, they will dig deeper to help more if they can.

“It is heartening to see that despite the economic worries facing so many UK households, the willingness to help those in need is still very strong.”

In April, amid lockdown, the UK Government pledged to match the amount raised during The BBC’s Big Night In fundraiser. The general public raised £33.5 million, which the Government match funded, with the first £20 million going to the National Emergencies Trust and the remainder split between BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief.

Over 70,000 charities claimed Gift Aid in 2019 and over 120,000 charities are known to be registered for Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Donations Scheme, so the proposal has the potential to help both large and small organisations.


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,102; fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd and 30th July 2020.  The survey was carried out online.  The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 16+).

The initial Gift Aid Emergency Relief proposal was made by CAF, IoF, CFG, NCVO and Charity Tax Group with the support of other membership bodies such as Small Charities Coalition, Charity Retail Association and ACEVO. Since then, more than 280 UK charities have joined the growing coalition.

Download the full Gift Aid briefing paper

Gift Aid Emergency Relief FAQs

A full list of the charities supporting this coalition can be found here.

Find out more about the campaign here.

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