UK Giving is the largest multi-year study of giving behaviour in the UK. This special report is based on research conducted between January and August 2020, it includes responses from more than 9,000 people across the country. The report sets out the impact that the pandemic has had so far on people’s giving behaviours, and the outlook for the coming months.

Key findings from the UK Giving Report 2020

Donation levels in-line with previous years

Despite less in-person fundraising, donation levels have held up during the pandemic. Sponsorship levels have fallen and remain low. In August, only 4% of people sponsored someone for charity, just half of normal levels seen for the time of year.

Giving money

Between January and June 2020, the public donated a total of £5.4 billion to charity – an increase of £800 million compared to the same period in 2019.

What people give to

There was a large increase in the number of people donating or sponsoring to the cause ‘hospitals and hospices’ during the height of the pandemic’s first wave, whilst up to a fifth of people specifically reported donating to charities which support the NHS.

Less physical fundraising

There was a significant decline in the amount of money donated to ‘medical research’ between January and June 2020. This cause, which often attracts donations via fundraising events, such as the London Marathon and coffee mornings, lost out on up to £174 million during the first half of the year.

Cashless giving increases

As opportunities to fundraise through face to face interactions have declined, there has been a large and sustained increase in cashless giving since March.

Trust in charities grows

Trust in charities, which increased during 2019, has increased further since March 2020. The improvement is seen across different age groups and social grades.

More insights into UK Giving

The research team at CAF produce regularly insights into the state of giving across the UK.

Previous UK Giving reports

Charities Aid Foundation has been researching UK giving trends since 1975. Earlier UK Giving reports can be found in our publications library. All of our research is free to read and download. Sign up to receive news of our latest publications.

UK Giving 2019

The number of people in the UK regularly giving to charity has declined for the third year in a row.

Read the report

UK Giving 2018

Find out who gives to good causes, how people give and which charities are most likely to receive support.

Read the report

UK Giving 2017 report

Discover insight into donor behaviour, key issues affecting charities and responses to significant UK events.

Read the 2017 report
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Our research and insight programme is focused on investigating and increasing understanding of charitable giving and philanthropy.

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