Giving increased but charities still struggled
Lockdown saw an extra £800m given to charity, new research has revealed.
Despite this, charities still lost millions because of the pandemic, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) said.
Its findings show that between January and June 2020, members of the public donated a total of £5.4bn to charity.
CAF's UK Giving: Covid-19 Special Report reveals that despite the public feeling anxious about their household finances early in the pandemic, they did not give less to charity.
The organisation said the levels of household giving that took place during the first months of lockdown are normally reserved for the peak seasonal fundraising months of November and December.
Other key findings of the report included a large increase in the number of people donating to, or sponsoring, ‘hospitals and hospices’ during the height of the pandemic’s first wave. One in five people reported donating to charities which support the NHS.
Neil Heslop, chief executive of CAF, said: “There has never been a time in living memory when we have collectively been more aware of the value of charity in our lives and that is clearly borne out in this CAF report and in the generosity of the British people.
“It is also our sincere hope that these extraordinary levels of giving serve as inspiration and reminds us of what is possible when people come together to support the causes closest to their hearts.”
People giving via a website or app increased significantly over the same period while cash donations, dropped off substantially between March and April. Trust in charities also increased year on year across all age groups and social grades.
By the end of April, more people than usual reported that they intended to donate more in the next 12 months.
However, the report also found that some charities suffered unprecedented losses, as donors shifted their donations to charities supporting the NHS, and fundraising opportunities disappeared.
Medical research charities are among the hardest hit by this shift, losing out on an estimated £174m in the first six months of 2020.
Additional research by the Association of Medical Research Charities found many face cuts to their research investment of 41% over the next year alone.
Other causes that are normally among the most popular also experienced large drops in donations, including animal charities, and those supporting children and young people.