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Giving at lowest level since September 21, survey finds

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Donations have declined over the past three months to reach their lowest level since September 2021, according to Enthuse’s Donor Pulse survey.

In looking at the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on donations and fundraising, the latest edition of the quarterly Donor Pulse report found that 71% of the 2,027 members of the public questioned said they donated to charity in the last quarter, down from 75% three months ago and 76% this time last year. This is the lowest level of charitable giving in the UK since September 2021.

Cost of giving

Heating and eating remain the biggest concerns for the public with energy prices (73%) and food costs (70%) the two biggest reasons why people feel worse off. This is followed by rent/mortgage costs, highlighted as a concern for 28%.

Despite these concerns, for households with an income above £60,000, donations have stayed at the same levels, with 82% having given in the last three months. 78% of households earning £40,000 – £60,000 a year said they had donated in the last three months, along with 72% of those in the £20,000 – £40,000 bracket, and 57% of households on £20,000 or less.

Positive signs

The number of people feeling worse off dropped four percentage points to 59% in the last three months. This is the second quarter in a row this number has dropped. And, 70% of the public are planning to donate in the next three months, rising to 75% for Gen Z.

In addition, the number of people who say they are very likely to give in the next three months has risen to 35% – the highest since last summer. 84% of those who have given in the last three months plan to give over this coming quarter.

Despite pressures at home, the UK also found a way to support those in need overseas. One in five people have already donated to appeals helping the Turkey-Syria earthquake and a further 28% are planning to donate to the humanitarian disaster.

Commenting on the research, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, said:

“When it comes to the cost of giving crisis, our research can be divided into three really clear chapters; the past, present and future. You can’t ignore the fact that there has been a drop in donations these past three months as people have found it more difficult to support charities financially.

 

“However, if we look at what the public is telling us, there are encouraging signs appearing today, with fewer people saying they feel worse off than six months ago and more people intending to give. If you pair this with the public’s appetite to take part in fundraising events, then there’s positives to take forward for the rest of the year.”

Events

The Donor Pulse also questioned people on fundraising events, and found that 44% of people want to get involved this year. Gen Z (61%) and Millennials (60%) are the most keen to take part. In addition:

One in six people say they want to take part in long distance events, such as marathons and half marathons 45% say they are interested in exercise challenges that contribute to health goals 30% want to take part in large group events, such as fun runs and walks Smaller activities with friends or colleagues such as bake offs or pub quizzes are also popular (47%) Distance runners who see support from celebrities are more likely to donate (39%), talk about the charity (39%) and fundraise (32%) Overall, 22% say they’re more likely to donate to a cause if they see a well-known personality is involved with the charity

Potential barriers to participation include fitness and friends. Fitness is a barrier for all age groups, 55% said they wouldn’t take part in a distance event because of this. About one in ten (9%) said that if none of their friends run, cycle or swim it would stop them from getting involved. This is doubly important to Gen Z where that rises to 21%.

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