We began monitoring the giving trends of the UK public to disaster appeals seven years ago.

The UK public has a history of being particularly supportive of charities operating overseas, which makes it especially important to understand this generosity.


Making a donation to a disaster appeal is of course spontaneous, and people give for a wide variety of reasons. As such, this giving is very different from the planned giving that we identify in UK Giving; and can be monitored in order to understand the changing patterns of behaviour over time, which may be affected by what type of disaster has occurred, which part of the world it happened in, at what time of year, and what media coverage was seen.

We have now monitored giving to five disaster appeals:

  • 2004 Asian tsunami
  • 2008 Burma cyclone
  • 2009 Asia-Pacific cluster of disasters
    • Samoan tsunami
    • Indonesian earthquake
    • Flooding due to the cyclones in the Philippines and Vietnam
  • 2010 Haiti earthquake
  • 2011 East Africa drought


The summary trends document provides an overview of the changing donor behaviour trends over time.

Want to know more?

If you want to know more about this report - or any of our research - our Media team can help.

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Why do people give to charity?

The average Briton gives away £10 a month to good causes, but many more devote thousands of pounds a year to doing good.

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