The number of people donating to charities has fallen, according to CAF poll

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7th May 2019 15:53 - Voluntary

The number of people donating to charities has fallen: The proportion of people making donations to charities has fallen in the last two years to 65% (from 69%).

The findings are part of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) annual review of charitable giving - 'the largest multi-year study of giving behaviour in the UK'.

The survey, which interviewed 12,000 people over the course of a year, revealed that although fewer people are making donations, those who are, typically pledge larger amounts. This means in terms of money donated, the figures remain similar to those of 2017 at £10.1billion.

The CAF UK Giving 2019 report found that of the many causes people donate to, charities supporting children and young people, and those concerned with the welfare of animals, held joint top position.

How people give

In terms of how people give to charities, cash is the most popular method, favoured by 53%, followed by buying goods (38%) and buying raffle or lottery tickets (37%). A third (33%) give by Direct Debit, while 22% said they donate at fundraising events. Just under a fifth (19%) said they give via an app or website, while others give by debit card (15%) membership fees and subscriptions (14%), by text (7%), credit card (6%), cheque (5%) or through payroll (2%).


The survey revealed a drop in the number of people sponsoring individuals for partaking in charitable events or activities, falling from 37% in 2016 to just under a third (32%) in 2018.

The cause most people offered sponsorship for was medical research with 37% of respondents saying they had sponsored someone in the last year, up from 33% in 2017. The second most popular cause for sponsorship was children and young people (21%) up from 18% last year. This result saw last year's second most popular cause, hospitals and hospices move down to third position, with 19% compared to 24% in 2017.


The number of people volunteering for charities has also fallen from 17% in 2016-17  to 16% in 2018. In the last year, women were more likely to volunteer than men (19% vs. 14%). The poll also found that students were the group who volunteered the most (24%) as well as those with part-time employment (25%).

When it comes to the public's trust of charities, the CAF poll reveals a decline from 51% in 2016 to 48% in 2018.

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