The number of individuals regularly giving to charity in the United Kingdom has dropped for the third consecutive year, a report from the Charities Aid Foundation finds.
The annual report, UK Giving (21 pages, PDF), is based on interviews with more than twelve thousand individuals conducted over the past year and shows trends in giving over the past three years. According to the report, the number of people, as a percentage of the population, in the UK making individual gifts fell from 69 percent in 2016 to 65 percent in 2018, while the percentage of those who said they believe charities are trustworthy fell from 51 percent to 48 percent.
Although fewer people are giving, those who are giving are giving larger amounts. As a result, the overall household amount given in 2018, £10.1 billion, is comparable to the amount given in 2017. In addition, volunteering rates in the UK have remained stable, as have the rates of people donating goods to a charitable cause such as a charity shop. The report also found that while the most popular charitable causes remained the same from 2016 to 2018, their order changed, with animal welfare (26 percent) and children or young people (26 percent) topping the list, followed by medical research (25 percent) and hospitals/hospices (20 percent).
"With three years' worth of data, we can see a clear trend in people's charitable giving, and it is headed in a worrying direction," said CAF research director Susan Pinkney. "If people lack trust, that means they worry that their hard-earned money is not being well spent when donated to charities. This is a challenge that the entire charity sector needs to tackle head on and find ways to inspire people to give and demonstrate to them that their money is making a difference."
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