One in five people have donated to charity recently, YouGov poll reveals

Just over 20 per cent of people have made a donation in the past three months, despite concerns about the economy prompted by the pandemic

One in five Britons have donated to a charity in the past three months, according to data from YouGov.

The market research firm's analysis also found that people had been more likely to give a one-off gift rather than a regular donation during the Covid-19 crisis.

Last month, the Civil Society Almanac, published by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, warned that public donations were likely to fall as a result of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, and a survey conducted by the NCVO and others indicated charities are facing a £12.4bn shortfall in income this year.

But the YouGov survey, published on Friday, revealed that despite the tightening of purse strings across the country, 21 per cent of a sample of 83,000 people said they had donated to charity in the past three months - just over one in five. 

Donors are especially likely to be older people, with 48 per cent being aged 55 and above (compared to 38 per cent of all Britons being this age). They are also more likely to be female (54 per cent) than male (46 per cent).

These donors were more likely to have given money as an ad hoc event (51 per cent) than as part of a regular donation schedule (43 per cent), while one in nine (11 per cent) gave ad hoc donations as well as having structured contributions.

Health and medicine charities were most likely to attract these donations, with 30 per cent of donors saying they had given money to these causes, followed by animal charities (27 per cent). A further one in five (20 per cent) donate to children and youth charities.

Donors’ personal income levels are largely identical to those of the population as a whole, the survey found. Nearly half of donors (46 per cent) have between £1 and £499 a month in disposable income, compared to 42 per cent of all Britons.

In terms of noticeable attitudinal differences, donors were more likely to agree with the statements “I make an effort to support local business” (75 per cent, compared to 67 per cent of the general population) and “I try to buy products made in my home country” (64 per cent vs 56 per cent of all Britons), the report found. 

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