Rising cost of living sees charity donations downsized

Rising cost of living sees charity donations downsized

The rising cost of living and uncertainty surrounding energy bills is already being felt by the charity sector with nearly five million people choosing not to make a one-off charity donation last month.

As household budgets feel the pinch, nearly one in ten (9%) people said they held back from donating, according to Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) UK Giving research.

Worryingly for many charities that rely on direct debits and standing orders, more than 3.2m people (6%) also said they had reduced or stopped a regular payment to charity because of increasing living costs.

The research also reveals nearly one in five individuals (19%) are considering cutting back on their donations, compared to 14% six months previously. In August, this number rose to 22% as household concerns around energy bills peaked.

CAF’s UK Giving tracks household donor behaviour every month. The tracker reveals how levels of donations continue to trend downwards. In September, only 26% of people said they had donated in the previous month. Prior to the pandemic, around 30% usually said they gave to charity during September.

The average monthly donation also declined in September, with a mean donation of £51, compared to £67 in August.

Summer has traditionally been a popular time for sponsored sporting events, and September saw the build-up to the London Marathon on 2nd October. However, only 8% of people sponsored someone for charity last month and 5% in August.

Neil Heslop OBE, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Charities need donations now more than ever, as more families rely on the vital services they provide. Mass giving is crucial for many charities, so as people cut back, Government and private sector funding which supported charities through the pandemic is greatly needed to help them through this crisis.

“With more than £500m of Gift Aid unclaimed which should rightly be with charities delivering frontline services, the process needs to be simplified to deliver desperately needed funds. The Government also needs to address the current complexity of the VAT system since it’s estimated that the sector loses billions paying tax that they cannot recover later.

“Despite falling donations, charities are working hard to help the growing number of families at the sharp end of the cost-of-living squeeze. But ultimately, charities are having to do much more, with much less money.”

The UK is the fifth Most Generous Country, with Ireland topping GoFundMe’s 2019 list

The UK is the fifth Most Generous Country, with Ireland topping GoFundMe’s 2019 list

Ireland, the United States and Australia have scooped the top three places in crowdfunding platform GoFundMe’s annual report, which includes a list of the Most Generous Countries.

Compiled by looking at the number of donations per capita, Canada, the UK, Switzerland and Luxembourg come fourth, fifth and sixth, while Netherlands, Denmark and Norway round off the top ten.

The document, called A Year in Giving, reveals the fundraisers that donors respond to and the frequency of donations. In total more than 6.75 billion pounds has been raised via 120 million donations since GoFundMe launched in 2010.

The report shows a donation is made every second, with 40 per cent of all donations less than £40. In 2019 there has been more than a 65 per cent increase in fundraisers mentioning climate change and more than a 20 per cent increase in fundraisers mentioning reproductive rights. A fundraiser is started every eight seconds and nearly 20 per cent of fundraisers in 2019 received donations from more than one country.

The most generous cities in Great Britain are Edinburgh, Cambridge and Bath, with community competitions and events the fastest growing fundraising categories in the UK, excluding emergencies. Friday is the most popular day to donate in Britain, with one in seven Brits having donated on the crowd-funding platform.

GoFundMe CEO Rob Solomon said: “We all want to be reminded of the good in humanity and inspired by uplifting news – not just during the festive season, but every day.

“Helping people and causes is what brings us to work every day and we are grateful that we get to empower others to make a lasting difference.

“As we enter a new decade, GoFundMe is committed to spreading compassion and empathy through our platform. We know we can’t do it alone, so we are excited to work with our community who share this vision of positive change. This festive season, we hope that you are motivated by the power of kindness and inspired to lend a hand to those in need. Together, we can bring more good into the world and unlock the power of global giving.”