Average amount given to charity in England rose by 13 per cent in 2013/14

The latest Community Life Survey, published by the Cabinet Office, finds that the average charitable donation was up from £18.50 in 2012/13 to £20.92 last year

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The average amount given to charity by people in England rose by 13 per cent in 2013/14 compared with the previous year, government data shows.

Researchers for the Cabinet Office’s annual Community Life Survey asked 5,105 adults in England about their giving in the four weeks prior to being interviewed. They found that the average amount given by those that made charitable donations had increased from £18.50 in 2012/13 to £20.92 last year.

The figure had been relatively flat since 2008/09, when it was £17.70.

The survey says 75 per cent of respondents said they had given to charity in the four weeks prior to interview – a rise of about one percentage point on the previous year.

There were rises in the proportion of givers in all age groups, but only one – that of 25 to 34-year-olds – went up by more than two percentage points, from 72 to 75 per cent.

The group with the highest proportion of givers was, as last year, those aged between 65 and 74, with 79 per cent saying they had made donations to charity in the past four weeks.

Giving was up in all regions apart from north-west England, where the proportion of people who had given to charity fell from 75 per cent to 71 per cent, and the east of England, where it fell from 80 to 78 per cent.

The north west tied with London as the place with the lowest proportion of givers. The south east had the highest proportion of givers, on 80 per cent.

Women remain more likely than men to donate, with 78 per cent giving in the 28 days prior to interview, compared with 71 per cent of men – the same proportion as last year.

Cathy Pharaoh, professor of charity funding at Cass Business School, said the average amount donated had increased noticeably on last year.

"In an environment of low inflation, regular givers are less inclined to change the value of their giving," she said. "Also, the recent uptick in the economy and employment has been reflected in some people with higher incomes giving more."

Pharaoh said that the fact that 25 to 34-year-olds showed the biggest increase in giving might be explained by unemployment falling most markedly among this group, which would have allowed them to give more to charity.

"Overall, the results of the survey continue to demonstrate the classic relationship of income as the main determinant of giving, as has been shown in all other giving research," she said. "They suggest that giving is a relatively unchanging behaviour in our society."

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