Halifax Giving Monitor

10 March 2014

Return to economic growth reflected in increase in amount of charitable giving

The UK’s return to economic growth may be impacting on the level of charitable donations, as more than three quarters of consumers’ are giving the same or more to charities as they did before the economic downturn.

With the latest official figures showing an improvement in disposable incomes over the last year, the Halifax Giving Monitor reveals 76% of consumers are now donating the same amount or more to charities as they did before the economic downturn (2008) – a 23% increase over the last three years. Back in 2012, 26% of consumers said they were giving less to charity than before the economic downturn because they couldn’t afford it, but in 2014 the number has fallen to 16%.

The total number of consumers giving to charity in the last year has also increased, with three quarters of consumers (75%) giving money to charity in the last 12 months, compared to 70% in the 12 months prior to this.

National charities remain most popular

The research found the most popular types of charities have remained relatively constant over the last three years, with no significant change in terms of giving between local, national, and international organisations.

The top three most popular charities consumers are giving to in 2014 are all national charities, with health charities the most donated to type (30%), ahead of children’s charities (26%), and animal welfare charities (21%).

Anthony Warrington, director of current accounts, Halifax, said:

“Many families have seen their finances come under pressure since the economic downturn, but it’s encouraging the upturn in the economy is now being mirrored in an increase in the level of charitable giving by consumers.

“Planning your monthly spend and budgeting for regular charitable donations can be made easier through Direct Debits as you can choose when they are paid.”

Donating by Direct Debit

While giving cash to collectors remains the most common method of donating in 2014 (44%), the typical amount given by cash (£5) is smaller than any other method.

However, more than a quarter (29%) of those who donate to charity now (in 2014) do so by monthly direct debit or standing order, the typical amount given stands at twice that amount at £10. The value of direct debit donations accounts for almost a third (31%) of all donations, increasing from less than a quarter (22%) in 2009/10.

The amount donated through a Payroll Scheme has risen 26% in real terms over the past decade from £120 million in 2002/03 to £152 million in 2012/13 (in 2012 prices). 

Giving through Gift Aid

Gift Aid continues to have a positive impact on charity donations and now accounts for 98% of the total tax repaid to charities, compared to 80% in 2002/03 and just 12% in 1992/93.

Charity donations in the UK that have been subject to Gift Aid increased by 67% in real terms over the past decade from £2.5 billion in 2002/03 to £4.1 billion in 2012/13.

Charitable statistics (2014)

  • 79% of women donated in the last 12 months compared to 70% of men
  • Women are much more likely than me to give to charity by purchasing something (45% vs. 30%)
  • Women are more likely to give to charity because they want to give something back (50% vs 38%, whereas men are more likely to give because they can afford to (23% vs 14%)
  • The most common frequency for making donations to charity is monthly (41%)
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