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Around 1 in 5 plan not to give this year – & an almost equal proportion intends giving more


Almost 1 in 5 people (18%) in the UK are not planning to donate to charities at all in 2023, according to a new study – a 50% increase from last year. However, at the same time, an almost equal proportion intend to donate more in 2023 than in 2022.

Overall, 20% of those questioned intend to give more this year. This rises to 24% for households in London, 25% for people with over £75,000 in yearly household income, and 53% for British Muslims.

The UK Giving Behaviours Tracker 2023 study comes from a poll of more than 1,500 people by global agency Blue State. It shows that the rate of those who stopped donations in 2022 was highest among those earning £15k or under, with most in this income bracket worried about affording basic needs. 55-64s however were the largest group giving above £250 a year, with 11% giving £250-£500 a year, and 9% giving more than £500 a year in 2022.

Giving motivations

All income brackets were motivated to give by seeing rising domestic and international needs, and by the war in Ukraine. Many, especially in lower income brackets, were motivated to give by an understanding of the rising costs for charities, while higher income donors felt a moral duty to share their privilege.

An awareness of food insecurity is big motivator for donation, according to the study. While 10% of people donated to support the cause of ‘hunger’ in 2022, Blue State’s study shows that this looks set to increase by almost three quarters to 17% in 2023.

More than half of all people surveyed are currently donating food regularly to a food bank (a 22-percentage point increase from a third in 2021 and 2019). Of those who donated financially to this cause, 93% did so in the previous six months, and 44% in the past month, showing not just one-off food donations, but regular support for food banks. 

More findings

The research also found increased charity shop purchases and engagement with raffles and lotteries in 2022 vs 2020-21, and that one in 10 under 24-year-olds had made a donation through gaming.

Geographically, the West Midlands was the most generous region of 2022, with a mean average gift of £354 a year, followed by London (£295) and the North East (£263).

Lizi Zipser, Executive Director of Blue State, commented on the findings, saying:

“This research shows some reasons for both optimism and caution. While the lowest earners are having to cut their donations, we’re seeing middle and higher earners keep up their donation rates, and even increase them.


“Most reassuring is the fact that more people said they intend to increase their giving than those who said they intend to stop giving. People can see the need in the world is increasing. They want to be part of a solution and feel there is hope for them and the people and causes they care about. Organisations that lean into this need for hope and solutions, while optimising for donor value and not just volume may be able to get through this crisis with their funding intact.”

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