George Young

Senior Media Relations Officer

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7 May 2019

Download the 2019 UK Giving report here.

The number of people in the UK regularly giving to charity has declined for the third year in a row, according to the largest multi-year study of giving behaviour in the UK.

The Charities Aid Foundation’s UK Giving report found that the proportion of the British public who are either giving money to charity directly or are sponsoring a friend or family member dropped to 65% in 2018 from 69% in 2016.

UK Giving 2019 findings are based on monthly interviews and include a yearly total of more than 12,000 individual interviews. The report covers data collected over three years (2016, 2017 and 2018).

“With three years’ worth of data, we can now see a clear trend in people’s charitable giving and it is headed in a worrying direction,” said Susan Pinkney, head of research at the Charities Aid Foundation.

When it comes to trust, fewer than half of those surveyed (48%) said they believed charities to be trustworthy. A further 21% of people said they do not believe charities are trustworthy, an increase from 19% in both 2016 and 2017.

“If people lack trust, that means they worry that their hard-earned money is not being well spent when donated to charities,” said Pinkney. “This is a challenge that the entire charity sector needs to tackle head on and find ways to inspire people to give and demonstrate to them that their money is making a difference.”

Although fewer people report that they are giving money, those who do give are giving higher amounts. As a result, the overall household amount given in 2018 remains comparable to 2017 at £10.1 billion.

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Other key findings in the UK Giving report include:

  • The number of people who said they had taken part in a charitable activity or social action (eg. signed a petition, bought an ethical product, took part in a public demonstration or protest) in the past four weeks has fallen for the third year running from a peak of 68% in 2016 to 64%
    • To note: Signalling that participation is responsive to current events, early monthly polling on this question covering March 2019 showed 69% took part in one of the activities – partly reflecting petitions leading up to the planned 29 March UK departure from the European Union
    • Despite the decline in participation in charitable or social action, a high number - 64% - of people reported that they did participate in some form of charitable or social activity
  • Rates of volunteering have remained stable, as have the rates of people donating goods to a charitable cause such as a charity shop
  • The UK remains one of the most generous countries in the world, consistently ranked in the top 10 in the Charities Aid Foundation’s annual World Giving Index

Notes to editors

CAF’s UK Giving report is the largest study of giving behaviour in the UK. The report is based on monthly interviews and encompasses a yearly total of c.12,000 individual interviews with the goal of assisting charities, government and wider society to better understand the UK’s giving landscape. CAF has been producing insight into giving for decades and this year’s UK Giving report builds on our past research.

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

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.

We are CAF and we make giving count.

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