Oldest age group 'does not give the most to charity'

A report by Barclays bank says people aged 35-54 give the most, but many charities continue to focus their efforts on the over-55s

Older people are not the age group that gives most to charity, despite most charities focusing their fundraising efforts on them, a survey has found.

The Future of Giving report, published by the bank Barclays this week and based on a survey of 2,017 UK consumers and 301 charities, says that people aged between 35 and 54 claimed to give the most to charity.

Researchers found that people in this age group gave an average of £265 last year to charities. Over-55s reported giving an average of £168.

But the report says that 63 per cent of charities surveyed said the over-50s age group was where they drew most of their support from.

Those aged under 35 said they gave £246 last year, the survey showed, but 57 per cent of that age group said they were more likely to donate today than they were three years ago. The report says this suggests charities should focus their fundraising efforts on younger people.

Street giving was found to be the most popular way to give, with 48 per cent of donors saying this was how they donated. But 74 per cent of charities said they believed this method was in decline.

The charities most frequently named by consumers as organisations they gave to were Cancer Research UK, the British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer Support and BBC Children in Need.

David McHattie, head of charities at Barclays Corporate Banking, said: "Fast-moving shifts in technology and consumer behaviour create significant opportunities for charities. However, to continue to thrive, the third sector must continue to adapt.

"Nurturing loyal givers while finding further ways to attract new support is critical. Investing in innovations, whether online, on-street, or in-store, will ensure that important causes continue to benefit from changing donation demographics and preferences."

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