Proportion of people giving to charity at new low, says nfpSynergy

Sixty per cent of respondents to its latest quarterly survey said they had given to charity in the past three months, the lowest figure since it began asking the question in 2011

The proportion of people giving to charity has fallen to the lowest level in a decade, new research indicates.

Figures from the research consultancy nfpSynergy show that 60 per cent of the 1,000 adults it surveyed last month said they had donated to charity in the previous three months, the lowest level recorded by the quarterly poll since nfpSynergy started asking the question in 2011.

The figure is nine percentage points lower than for the previous three-month period and dips below the previous low of 62 per cent recorded in August 2017. The highest level recorded by nfpSynergy was 79 per cent in 2013.

But despite the proportion of people donating to charity falling, nfpSynergy’s figures showed that for those who said they had given the average amount donated had risen to a new high.

The average amount given was up to £67.70, the highest level recorded by nfpSynergy since 2011, and an increase from an average of £50 in January.

The figures also show that giving through charity websites and by text message were at the highest levels recorded by the company.

Thirty per cent of the people who had donated said they had given through charity websites, compared with 14 per cent five years ago.

This tallies with figures also out today from the software and technology provider the Access Group, which found that during the first weeks of lockdown charity websites experienced more than 10 times more donations than usual.

The figures from nfpSynergy show that people were also more likely to donate to charities that were helping people during the coronavirus crisis.

Sixty per cent of respondents said they would be willing to support a charity responding to coronavirus.

About two-thirds of those surveyed said they planned on cutting back on eating out and going on holidays over the next 12 months, but fewer (38 per cent) said they would decrease their charitable spending.

Among the key fundraising audience of people aged over 65, only 22 per cent said they would cut back on their charitable spending over the next year.

A statement from nfpSynergy said that “beyond the lockdown’s immediate impact on charities’ ability to raise funds, it is not necessarily clear what the long-term impact will be of a recession on the sector”.

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