Nearly two-thirds of people would sacrifice another expense to keep giving to charity, new research shows.
The annual Giving Monitor, published by the Halifax bank today, says that 70 per cent of people have given money to charity in the past year.
The findings are based on online responses from a random sample of 2,017 UK adults aged 18 or over, carried out by the market research company ICM Research on 15 and 16 May.
Sixty-three per cent of respondents said that if their financial circumstances worsened, they would make some sacrifice in order to continue giving. The top three things people said they would cut back on were takeaway meals, nights out and magazine subscriptions.
Respondents aged between 18 and 24 were the most likely to say they would give something up to maintain their giving, accounting for one in four of those who said they would do so. Apparent willingness to cut other spending to protect donations decreased with age, researchers found.
More than half, 52 per cent, said the amount they donated to charity had stayed the same in the previous 12 months, despite the continuing economic downturn. One in 10 said they had increased the amount they gave.
But the Giving Monitor says that 32 per cent of respondents had given less to charity in the past year than they did in the previous 12 months. Ten per cent of those who said they gave less had cut their donations by 50 per cent or more.
Seventy per cent of those who had not donated to charity in the past six months said it was because they had not been able to afford to do so.
Researchers found that the most common method of donating was to cash collections, with 38 per cent of those surveyed giving in this way. About a quarter, 27 per cent, donated by direct debit or standing order, and 26 per cent gave by purchasing something.
Anthony Warrington, director of current accounts at the Halifax, said it was encouraging that people were trying to maintain their giving levels despite the added pressure on family finances.