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.
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