The proportion of people living in Scotland who give to charity has fallen by eight percentage points in the past year, according to research by not-for-profit think tank nfpSynergy.
The twice-yearly Scottish Charity Engagement Monitor polled a representative sample of 1,085 people north of the border in April. The percentage of people who said they had donated to charity in the previous six months fell from 79 per cent in April 2008 to 71 per cent this year.
The drop in giving was most prominent among older age groups, with the number of people aged from 55 to 64 who had given to charity in the previous six months falling 16 percentage points to 64 per cent.
The proportion of men who said they had given to charity this year also dropped 10 percentage points to 66 per cent. This was lower than the comparative figure for women, which fell by seven percentage points to 75 per cent.
The 25 to 34-year-old age bracket was the only one to buck the downward trend, with a slight increase in the percentage who gave. The figure rose by one percentage point to 75 per cent.
Jonathan Baker, a researcher at nfpSynergy, said the recession had made people in Scotland cautious about donating to charity.
"Our new research provides tangible evidence of the impact of the economic downturn on charitable giving in Scotland," he said. "Anxiety appears most acute among the middle aged, probably over jobs, homes and pensions, so charities may need to re-engage with this group as the economy improves."