Charities cannot rely on Christmas to provide a boost to their donations from the public, according to a new survey.
One in five adults questioned by the consultancy firm nfpSynergy claimed they gave more money over Christmas, but a similar number – 17 per cent – said they found it harder to donate to charity at this time of year.
Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said he was surprised that only one in five people said they would give more over Christmas, but the economic downturn was likely to deter some.
"Uncertainty means people are going to be more cautious," he said. "It makes people less likely to give at Christmas.
"Charities need to be sensitive, but can’t stop asking because they have their own clients and services to think about."
The poll did show increased public awareness of charities over the festive season. Almost half of those surveyed said they "usually buy charity Christmas cards", 31 per cent said they were "more likely to buy a product that makes a donation to charity" and 29 per cent said they "hear more about charities at Christmas".
In another survey about Christmas giving, the online donation site JustGiving discovered that the most popular day for online donations is 22 December.