Brexit has had no effect on donations, says CAF giving report

UK Giving 2017 says people in the UK gave £9.7bn in 2016, compared with £9.6bn in 2015, and there was a 'noticeable increase' in the number of people engaging in social and political issues

Brexit has had no effect on donations to charity, but has stimulated volunteering and campaigning, according to a report published today by the Charities Aid Foundation.

UK Giving 2017 says British people donated £9.7bn in 2016, compared with £9.6bn in 2015.

It says 17 per cent of adults aged over 16 had volunteered in the previous 12 months, compared with 13 per cent a year earlier.

According to the report, 56 per cent said they had signed a petition in the previous 12 months and 6 per cent said they had taken part in a demonstration or protest, which is the equivalent of three million people. The respective figures for the previous year were 21 per cent and 3 per cent.

"Our research shows that there has been no Brexit effect on charitable donations so far, but there has been a noticeable increase in the number of people engaging in social and political issues," said John Low, chief executive of CAF.

"The number of people who said they signed a petition or took part in a protest or demonstration last year is the highest recorded in more than a decade of us producing this report."

The best month for donations in 2016 was November, which included Children in Need, the Poppy Appeal and Movember. In 2015 it was May, which coincided with the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal earthquake appeal. The report says this suggests "giving is indeed driven by responses to high-profile events and campaigns".

The study says that cash remained the most common way to give, the median average donation was £18 and medical research was the most popular cause, supported by 26 per cent, followed by animal welfare (25 per cent) and children and young people (24 per cent).

Londoners gave the highest mean donation (£58), the study says, but Welsh people were the most likely to have carried out charitable or social actions (90 per cent).

Full-time students were the group most likely to have volunteered last year (23 per cent), and people who voted to remain in the European Union were more likely to participate in every type of charitable or social action than those who voted to leave, with the exception of giving goods to charity.

CAF has published UK Giving annually since 2004. It was put together in partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations until 2014.

This year’s report is based on monthly online interviews conducted by YouGov with 1,000 people. The previous report involved quarterly face-to-face surveys with 1,000 people.

If you’re interested in fundraising, you can’t miss Third Sector’s Annual Fundraising Conference on 23 and 24 May. Click here for more information and how to book

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