Charities are missing out on an estimated £665m because they are failing to offer potential donors the information they are interested in, such as how money is spent, according to a study by the research charity New Philanthropy Capital.
The report, Money for Good, published today, is based on an Ipsos MORI survey of 3,000 adults and additional interviews about people’s donating habits.
The survey asked whether donors could give more to charity than they currently do. It also asked them how much more they would give if charities did a better job in the areas that were important to them, such as providing information about how their money is spent and evidence of impact.
The average capacity to donate more was then extrapolated using people’s answers to other questions about available income and census data. These calculations provided a figure applicable to the UK population of about £665m.
The study found that only 39 per cent of people in the UK give more than £50 a year. Of those, donors were separated into two categories: mainstream – those with household incomes of less than £150,000; and high-income – those with household incomes of more than £150,000.
The average annual donation is £303 for mainstream donors and £1,282 for high-income donors. The average amount given by mainstream donors increases with age.
Mainstream donors said that on average they aimed to give 6.5 per cent of their household income to charity. High-income donors, however, aspired to pledge only 4.7 per cent of their household income.
Male mainstream donors were found to give more than females – men give £349 a year, women £260.
Dan Corry, chief executive of NPC, said: "The culture of giving in the UK is clearly in need of some TLC. As a sector we need to come together and examine why this is and look at if – and how – we can begin to change people’s attitudes and behaviour.
"This report is just the start, and NPC looks forward to hearing people’s responses to this research about how it can be used and developed further."