Fewer people are giving more according to CAF’s UK Giving 2018 report that offers an annual snapshot of the nation’s philanthropic trends.
The total amount given to charity increased to £10.3 billion up from £9.7bn in 2016, with the number of people giving donations or sponsoring someone in 2017 decreasing from the previous year as a result of a two percentage point fall in sponsorship giving year on year (from 37% to 35%) and those having done so in the last four weeks down from 11% to 9%.
CAF’s CEO John Low says: “It’s far too soon to tell if that represents a trend, but we need to be careful if giving becomes concentrated in fewer, larger donations.”
The top five causes donors report donating directly to remains the same in 2017 as it was in 2016.
Medical research (26%), animal welfare (24%), children or young people (23%) and hospitals and hospices (23%) were the most popular causes to donate money to, all at similar levels to 2016.
Overseas aid and disaster relief remains the fifth most popular cause to donate to in 2017, with nearly a quarter (23%) of donors saying they gave money to the cause. This cause has increased considerably from 19% in 2016.
This rise in giving is likely due to the number of large scale, highly covered international disasters which unfortunately occurred in 2017, including the Rohingya crisis, Hurricanes Harvey and Maria, the earthquake in Mexico, and monsoon flooding and landslides in Bangladesh, Sierra Leone and Colombia.
People continued to sign petitions and take part in public demonstrations in 2017 at the high levels seen for the first time in 2016.
Despite innovation in charitable giving over the years, cash remains the main way in which people give, although the level has decreased slightly in 2017.
Women remain more likely than men to participate in charitable and social activity and the gap is widening rather than narrowing between the two groups. Women remain more likely to have volunteered in the last year than men (19% vs. 15% of men). Similarly to 2016, the highest levels of volunteering in the last year were reported amongst full time students. Positively, the level of volunteering amongst this group has actually increased from 23% to 27% this year.
While trust in charity remains an issue with no movement since 2016 in the 50% agreeing that charities are trustworthy, men are most likely to disagree that charities are trustworthy.
Download the full report here