New giving research prompts rival views of the rich

New research on giving debunks the popular belief that poor people are more generous donors than the rich, according to think tank nfpSynergy.

It said Who Gives To Charity?, a report based on a quarterly study by the Office for National Statistics, showed the richest 10 per cent gave a larger amount and were most likely to donate to charity - 50 per cent of rich people gave, compared with 15 per cent of poorer people.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said: "It's strange we should peddle myths that the richest in society are less generous." The survey also showed that, among the whole population, the richest 10 per cent gave 0.4 per cent of their income and the poorest 10 per cent gave 0.5 per cent. "When poorer people give, they give higher proportionally, but this is not across all households," said Saxton.

Those from the poorest 10 per cent who donate to charity gave 3.2 per cent of income, said the survey; donors in the richest 10 per cent gave only 0.8 per cent.

Cathy Pharoah, director of research consultancy Third Sector Prospect, said it was "inappropriate and distasteful" to say the poor were not generous, because they were more generous proportionally.

The ONS's quarterly Family Expenditure Survey asks 11,000 people about their charitable giving.

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