Two million fewer people in the UK said they had donated to charity amid growing fears about the cost of living, according to new research.
Data from the pollsters YouGov, released by the Charities Aid Foundation, shows that 25 per cent of people surveyed in February said they had donated to charity in the past four weeks, down from the usual average of 29 per cent.
This is equivalent to a drop of two million in the number of people giving to voluntary organisations, CAF said.
The survey, which is based on research among more than 1,000 UK adults, found that 12 per cent of people said they actively planned to cut back on charitable donations in light of higher bills and rising inflation.
Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, warned in his Spring Statement that inflation could reach as high as 9 per cent later this year.
CAF said that falling donations was likely to have a “knock-on impact” as people reduced non-essential spending.
Its survey found that nearly 60 per cent of the public intend to reduce their discretionary expenditure over the next six months, rising to 70 per cent of younger people.
Just one in four members of the public said that they would not be cutting back on any spending.
Alison Taylor, chief executive of CAF Bank, said: “The pandemic has highlighted the vital role that charities play in our society, including those who work and volunteer for them.
“The cost-of-living crisis makes the value of charities’ work more visible than ever, while also placing these same charities under significant pressure as they seek to deliver their essential services and meet increasing demand from their communities.”