There has been a "slow increase" over the past two years in the proportion of people who donate to charity only spontaneously, according to new research.
Speaking at the launch of Third Sector’s Charity Brand Index 2014 in London yesterday, Martin Bradley, associate director of Harris Interactive, which carries out the research for the publication, presented additional data from a survey of 2,000 people conducted by the market research company this month.
He said the proportion of people who said all of their donations to charity were made spontaneously had gone up from 57 per cent in 2012 to 63 per cent this year.
As a result, Bradley said, charities should focus on campaigns that produce "immediate reactions and spontaneous donations".
But he also told attendees at the launch that there was a rosier picture in the charity sector, because the proportion of respondents who said they never donated to charity had fallen from 20 per cent in 2012 to 15 per cent this year.
Bradley also pointed out that the Charity Brand Index, which is in its sixth year, showed reduced levels of trust by members of the public in individual charities.
The average trust score – those saying that a charity is completely or very trustworthy – was 64 per cent in 2012, but had dropped to 58 per cent in 2014.
"At a time when the economic situation has been tough for a number of years, if this is the perception of much of the public, what extra incentive is there to donate their hard-earned cash?" said Bradley.
The Charity Brand Index, which gauges public opinion of charity brands, is based on an online survey of more than 4,000 UK adults. It was topped this year by Cancer Research UK.