And finally…Half of British men do nothing for charity

Just under half (48 per cent) of British men fail to support any good causes or get involved in social action in a typical month, according to figures released today by the Charities Aid Foundation.

The agency found that the nation’s men are much less likely than women to be involved in supporting causes across all types of giving, including volunteering, donating money and sponsorship.

UK Giving’s annual report found that over three fifths (63 per cent) of women get involved in some way during a typical month, compared to 52 per cent of men.

Women are also nearly twice as likely to donate to a charity shop, 27 per cent gifting their items in the four weeks prior to interview, compared to 15 per cent of men.

Younger people are also less likely to be involved with supporting good causes, nearly three fifths (58 per cent) of those aged 16 – 24 doing none of the charitable or social actions listed in a typical month. Those aged 45-64 are the most likely to be involved, 63 per cent having done something for a good cause in the previous month.

The report estimates that Britons donated £10.6bn to charity in 2014.

Poorer people appear to give away a higher proportion of their income, those earning under £9,500 giving away an estimated 4 per cent of their income last year, compared to those with an income over £25,000, who gave 1 per cent to good causes.

UK Giving, an in-depth study of giving across the nation, is produced by the Charities Aid Foundation, a charity which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.

The report has been expanded this year to include questions that go beyond giving money, looking at other ways people may choose to support causes, as well as their motivations for doing so.

Eight out of ten people (79 per cent) did at least one charitable giving or social action activity in the last 12 months, with over half (57 per cent) having done so in the last month.

There has been a rise in the proportion of people giving money to overseas causes over the past year, possibly due to high-profile appeals such as the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ebola campaign. A higher proportion of donors also report giving to animal charities in 2014.

When asked about the potential barriers to giving, 70 per cent agreed that they would be more inclined to give if they knew how the money was directly helping.

Over two-thirds (68 per cent) said there were so many charities it was difficult to choose, and just over half (53 per cent) worry that if they give they will only then be asked for more money.

The research also shows:

  • 44 per cent of people give money to charity in a typical month, with a typical gift of £14
  • People give an average of £10 away through sponsorship, less than when giving directly
  • Medical research is the cause supported by the largest proportion of donors 33 per cent, followed by children and young people, 30 per cent, and ‘hospitals & hospices’ at 25 per cent
  • Religious causes receive the largest share of donations in terms of monetary value (14 per cent), as the typical donation of £20 is much higher than the overall average
  • Those on higher incomes are more likely than others to give to overseas charities, as well as children, environment and religious causes.
  • Cash continues to be the most common method of giving, followed by direct debit. Online giving has been used by 15 per cent of donors in the last 12 months, and text by 11 per cent
  • Despite an apparent online and social media focus, young donors are actually much more likely than average to give cash – 66 per cent compared to 55 per cent overall.

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Britons are inherently generous and it’s great to see so many people continuing to give up their money, their belongings and their time, or sponsoring others to help the causes closest to them.

“UK Giving is now bigger and better, looking far beyond the financial side of being charitable to explore the who, what, how and why of our support for charities across the country.

“Charities clearly need to do more to motivate certain groups of society to get involved with charities in their communities, especially younger men. Fundraisers such as Movember and Tough Mudder have gone some way in catching the imagination of this group over the last few years, but there is clearly still some way to go.

“Many people remain concerned that the money they donate may not be used to best effect, and charities must ensure they are properly communicating the achievements of their work to the people whose funding make it possible.”

Download the report ‘UK Giving 2014’