Charitable giving drops to its lowest level in 10 years

Image Credit: 
Aneta Pawlik via Unsplash
19 June, 2020


The number of people giving to charity has dropped to its lowest level in a decade according to new research.

According to NFP Synergy, only 60% of the public say they’ve given to charity in the last three months – down from 69% in January.

This is the biggest quarterly fall since the organisation started keeping records back in 2011. Charity shops and on-street collections have seen the biggest drop in giving.

According to NFP, funding had already been on a downward trend prior to the pandemic, having fallen 2.9% during 2018/19.

Face-to-face methods of donation are down significantly, as is buying from charity shops and giving to on-street cash collections.

Giving via charities and text message, on the other hand, are at their highest levels since NFP began recording them.

Given that 60% of the public said that they would be willing to give to charity, the research concludes that “giving is about asking.” It highlights that in recent times, the public has had less opportunity to give as charity shops aren’t open, fundraising events have been cancelled and street fundraising has stopped.

However, there is some positive news:

  • The public say they are almost twice as likely to cut back on eating out than donating to charity
  • Over 65s are the least likely to say they will cut back on their charitable spending – a promising sign for fundraising
  • The average amount given over the last 3 months has risen to £67.70, suggesting that whilst the overall number of donors has declined, those who continue to give, are giving generously

The report also states that the recent drop in donations may not be surprising after last week’s news that the economy shrunk by 20% during April.

It says that while it is not clear what the impact of the recession will be on charities, there is some hope, as many charities saw their fundraised income reach a peak during the last recession.

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