Perception more powerful than hard cash when it comes to charity giving, say academics

Feelings about financial insecurity are likely to influence donors

People's bank balances are not the only measure of their likelihood to give, according to new research.

Feeling Poor, Acting Stingy: the effect of money perceptions on charitable giving, to be published later this year, shows that people's feelings about their wealth, rather than the amount of money they have, are a major factor in their giving.

The paper, an analysis of existing UK and Dutch data, has been produced by the Centre for Humanitarianism, Philanthropy and Social Justice at Kent University and Vrije University, Amsterdam.

It shows that people's perceptions of financial security, along with their religious beliefs, social habits and tax breaks, help to determine their likelihood to give.

Beth Breeze, co-author of the paper, said the information would help fundraisers understand more about how to approach potential donors.

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