Rise in disapproval of non-givers

Survey reveals attitudes are hardening towards non-donors

People who never give to charity are increasingly considered to be immoral or unethical, according to newly published research by not-for-profit think tank nfpSynergy.

Forty-three per cent of 1,000 people surveyed in November 2008 considered never giving to charity as being either 'very immoral or unethical', or 'immoral or unethical', a rise of nine percentage points on the previous year's poll.

The survey asked people to rate an assortment of different actions, ranging from bullying to speeding, on a scale from 'not at all immoral or unethical' to 'very immoral or unethical'.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said: "People are increasingly viewing charities as part of everyday life, whether this is because of higher-profile campaigning or because charities are more attentive to public concerns. The more central they are in the eyes of the public, the more unacceptable it will become not to donate to them."

Saxton said the research confirmed that charities were working to address those issues that most concerned the public.

"Most charities are working at the heart of moral relevance, tackling issues and activities that the public deem to be most unethical," he said.

According to the poll, bullying was viewed as the most immoral activity, with 87 per cent of respondents saying it was unethical. This figure fell by three percentage points compared with 2007.

Eighty-one per cent said discriminating against people because they were different was immoral, and 75 per cent said buying goods produced by child workers was unethical. A similar proportion said alienating your child from an estranged partner was unethical.

The social practices considered least immoral or unethical were living together before marriage, on 14 per cent, and having sex before marriage, on 13 per cent.

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