Adults in the UK donated £9.3 billion to charity in 2011/12, compared to £11 billion in 2010/11. The percentage of people donating to charitable causes decreased from 58% to 55% and the typical amount given per donor per month in 2011/12 was £10, a decrease from £11 in 2010/11 and £12 in 2009/10.
Women are still more likely to give to charity than men (58% compared to 52%) and the proportion of donors using Gift Aid has dropped 3% from last year with cash still the most common way to give, being preferred by half.
‘Hospitals and hospices’ featured second highest in the most popular causes, attracting 30% of donors. Medical research was highest with 33%.
Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said: “I am very worried that fewer people are giving to charity. Charities are already being squeezed by greater needs, cuts in funding and rising costs.
“I know people want to help when they can and I know that they can make a difference. If I could ask one thing, I’d ask people to commit to regular donations through direct debit, and give using Gift Aid, so charities can plan properly. We cannot afford to lose the services charities provide.”
The campaign states: ‘It has never been more important to back Britain’s Charities’ and is urging the public, business and the government to back Britain’s charities during the current economic situation.
The campaign has five key aims. It is calling for:
- the public to support charities through regular giving, regardless of how much time or money they can give
- the government to modernise and promote Gift Aid and payroll giving so donations go further
- the government to ensure that public bodies do not cut funding for charities disproportionately when making spending reductions.
- business to support charities, either through donations or through practical means
- charities to work with the government to modernise and improve fundraising and to enhance their impact so that every pound given goes further to helping beneficiaries.
John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Britain remains one of the world’s most generous nations. But cash is tight for everyone and people are finding it harder and harder to find money to give to charity. It is vital that Government, businesses and the public Back Britain’s Charities so they survive and carry on their work in these tough times.”
Help Back Britain’s Charities by signing up to the campaign. You can also show your support on Twitter using #backingcharity.
To read the full UK Giving survey results, visit the CAF website.