Major charity reports launched: UK Giving 2019 and Fundraising for Impact

Fundraising reports launched
9 May, 2019


Two major charity reports have given a clearer picture of the current state of fundraising.

UK Giving 2019 and Fundraising for Impact are both worth your time, but if you don’t have a moment to sit down and read them right now, we’ve summarised the main takeaways for you.

UK Giving 2019 report

The Charities Aid Foundation UK Giving 2019 report gathered 12,000 responses over the course of 2018 and compared them to the previous two years to build up an overall picture of charitable and social actions. 

Sir John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “The decline of trust in institutions is a global phenomenon, affecting all sectors. But it is something we in civil society should take seriously. People are not obliged to give. They give because they are inspired, because they are touched and because they know they can make a difference.”

Main findings from the report

  • Financial donations are slightly down year on year. 57% of people said they donated money to a charity in the last year (down 3% since 2017) and 31% had donated money in the last four weeks (down 1% since 2017).

  • People are consistent in donating goods to charity: 56% said they had donated in the last year, and 26% had donated in the last four weeks. These figures were unchanged since 2016 and 2017.

  • Volunteering levels are also steady.

  • Women are more likely to have volunteered than men.

  • The most popular causes for sponsorship donations are medical research, followed by children and young people.

  • There’s been a sharp decline in sponsorship for a physical or mental healthcare cause.

  • Animal welfare is the number one cause that adults (aged 16+) donate to overall.

What can we learn from the UK Giving 2019 report?

  • Donations of goods or volunteer time remain important to the public. With people increasingly concerned about reducing waste and becoming more ethical, now is the time to reach them and increase these figures in 2019.

  • Look at the diversity of your volunteers. Do you struggle to get everyone involved? Think about how you could engage with the people who aren’t represented. It may be that they’re not aware of your organisation, or they need a more bespoke approach, such as connecting with schools, workplaces or community halls to target them directly.

  • It may be worth looking at the tactics animal welfare charities use to engage the public. How do they get their message across? How do they use emotive language and images effectively? These methods could inspire your next marketing campaign.

Fundraising for Impact report

The Institute of Finance and PWC Fundraising for Impact report measured fundraising data from 100 charities of different sizes: 53% of those surveyed had a total income of more than £1 million.

Peter Lewis, Chief Executive of the Institute of Finance, said: “Fundraising charities seem on the whole to be optimistic for the future in terms of the voluntary income they believe that they will raise in the next three years.”

Main findings from the report

  • 32% of charities consider workplace development ‘very important’ and 47% considered it ‘somewhat important’ as an area of investment.

  • 18% of charities consider collaborative approaches ‘very important’ and 53% consider them ‘somewhat important’.

  • 66% of charities surveyed believe Brexit presents a challenge for fundraising efforts.

  • Digital engagement is cited as the most likely source of increased donations.

  • 69% of larger charities (with an income of more than £10m) said they had noticed ‘no noticeable change’ in administration costs, compared to 39% of smaller charities (with an income of less than £1 million), who were more likely to report changes in these costs.

What can we learn from the Fundraising for Impact report?

  • The sample profile’s definition of ‘smaller charities’, which made up 47% of respondents, was those with a ‘total income of less than £1m’. Having a separate category for even smaller incomes, such as less than £250,000 or less than £100,000, would add more context. We need to measure where the much smaller and hyper-local organisations fit, and whether their statistics mirror what this report has found.

  • Though workplace development and collaborative approaches are valued by the majority of charities surveyed, it’s worrying that at least 20% thought these were not important areas for investment. If you don’t prioritise these factors, is it because you don’t have the confidence or capacity to focus on them?

  • VCSE organisations need to have a strong online presence to be ready for digital engagement. Staff and volunteers who use technology must be properly trained and upskilled if necessary, either on public courses or through bespoke training. Voscur can provide training on digital marketing, social media and much more – get in touch now to discuss your options.

These two major reports make for interesting reading. If you have feedback on the reports, and how they fit with your organisation’s experience, please email

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