Study of UK Charitable giving 2019

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) published a study of giving behaviour in the UK recently, which shows that, for the third year in a row, significantly fewer people say that they are giving to charity.

The key findings of the report are:

Giving money

The proportion of people giving money to charity either by donating or via sponsorship has seen a steady decline between 2016 and 2018 (69% to 65% in 2018).

Trust in charities

Trust in charities has decreased significantly since 2016. 48% of people said that they believe charities to be trustworthy (down from 51%).

Amounts given

Although fewer people report that they are giving money, those who do give are giving higher amounts.
Overall, the total amount given to charity in 2018 remains largely the same as 2017 at £10.1 billion.

Overall participation

The number of people reporting having participated in charitable or social activities in the previous four weeks has decreased over the last three years.
But with 64% of people taking part in charitable activities, participation remains high.

What people give to

In 2018 children/young people and animal welfare jointly lead the list of the causes people say they donate to. With 26% of people saying they gave to each of those causes in the past month.

Top months for giving

Peak months for giving are November and December. This has become a yearly pattern largely due to established fundraising campaigns over these months. These are also the main months for donating with cash.

Being asked to give

Fewer people say they have been approached to donate money than in previous years. This is across a variety of ways: on the street, door to door and particularly direct mail (fallen from 28% in 2016 to 23% in 2018).


Rates of volunteering remain stable, as do the proportion of people giving goods to a charitable cause.


You can read the full report on the CAF website.


What can you do about it?

In the Civil Society online forum, there is an interesting blog examining this, and pondering what we can do about it, as charitable organisations.

It makes interesting reading, as he looks at trust issues, fundraising methodology, a difficult economic environment, and reasons to be cheerful.