The economic state of the country and the effect of this on standards of living has given rise to yet another round of “doom and gloom” media reports about levels of charitable giving.

It would certainly be unusual if everyone kept on giving when money is tight at the same level as they had achieved when they were better off.

But is the picture actually as bad as we are often led to believe?

A recent report by Action Planning (November 2023) suggests that:

  • The percentage of people giving to a charity is stable around 71%
  • Younger age groups continue to be the most generous, with 49% of  people in the 18-44 age group giving to multiple causes, and a record 45% giving via charity websites
  • People still trust charities – although this varies by age group, eg. 66% of the 35-44 age group trust charities as compared with 39% in the 18-24 age group
  • Almost the same number of people believe that charities should be involved in politics as those who believe they should not.

More interesting is the statistic that over 80% of all ages give, or would consider giving, to food poverty, people with disabilities and older people. Whilst food poverty has been a popular area for support, especially during and since the coronavirus crisis, at Minerva we have found that the other 2 groups present more of a fundraising challenge – and this is especially the case with the elderly. In a major national survey in 2009, ten times more people gave to charities supporting animals than those supporting the elderly. It would be good to think that this has changed in the last 14-15 years – with an ageing population, older people will need our support in the years ahead as never before.

Disability remains a fairly popular target for donors in our experience – but we have found that physical disability, especially if this is as a result of eg. military service generates more support than learning disability. Ironically, it is the learning disabled who are often in greater need of charitable gifts.