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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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One in three charity workers gives nothing to good causes

This news post is about 6 years old

They may know first hand the importance of good causes, but a third of people who work for them don't give any cash to charity

People who work for charities may feel they are giving enough to good causes, according to new research that has found a third don't give to charity at all.

Research carried out by found 31% of charity workers admit they don't donate to good causes.

The research was carried out on a sample of 1,982 people on the database of the online voucher codes and deals website.

“I stopped giving my direct debit because I didn’t like that I had so little connection with the charities; it was two big name charities

Overall it found 32% of people give between £6 and £10 a month to charity, 17% give less than that and 18% give more than £11 a month.

The main reason charity workers say they don't donate is believing they don't have enough money. However, 31% also said they think they do enough, while 7% said they struggle to decide which cause to give to.

Researchers then asked all participants that do donate to charity if any of their donations actually go to the charity they work for; 49% stated that they did not.

Despite the responses, 82% of charity workers said they consider themselves to be a charitable person.

A quick straw poll of people who work for a range of Scottish charities known to Third Force News, found four in ten have regular direct debit donations. Of the remainder, everyone said they give in other ways, typically by sponsoring friends, volunteering or just giving occasionally when asked.

Craig, who works for a small Scottish charity, said: “I didn't give to charity for quite a long time, feeling that yes, 'I was doing my bit'.

“But seeing what I felt was a huge increase in homelessness, I felt I should give a small monthly amount to Shelter. But I could and should do more, I think!”

Alice, who works for a national organisation, said: “I stopped giving my direct debit because I didn’t like that I had so little connection with the charities; it was two big name charities.

“Now I give on a more ad hoc basis and it tends to be local groups and charities where my kids or other family or friends are involved. I also try wherever I can to give my time as well as money now.”

Jane works for a different national charity. She said: “I think I am quite demanding in the way that I support charities. I have memberships of galleries and heritage charities so I get free entry to things. I do go to fundraising events and support friends through sponsorship.

“I don't have just one charity that I give to regularly because there are so many different things I feel passionate about. I have a thing where if I am treating myself to something a bit indulgent like posh makeup I will give the same amount to a charity.”

Louise, who works for a health charity, said: “I keep intending to set up a regular donation to charity, but I actually haven't decided which charity to give to as there are so many deserving causes out there. I do give by donating items to my local British Heart Foundation charity shop and regularly sponsoring friends and colleagues taking part in sponsored events.

“I do feel that I could do more directly, but my updates from BHF actually show that I probably give more through donating items to their shop than I would with a small regular donation.”

The latest Charities Aid Foundation report found that 67% of the public had given to charity in the previous 12 months. This would suggest that people who work for charities are in fact slightly more generous than the rest of the population, with 69% saying they donate to charity.

George Charles of said: "People assume that those that work for charities, be it office work or in a shop, would be naturally very charitable and therefore we predict that they must be donating loads of money per month but apparently this is not the case!”

What do you think? Are people who work for charities be more charitable?



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Robert McCall
about 6 years ago
Given how poorly charity workers are paid it is hardly surprising that one in three cannot afford to donate to charities. On the other hand perhaps they see systematic abuse of charity funds.
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about 6 years ago
What an appalling poll! How do we make charity workers feel valued? I know, let's shame a third of them for not giving everything they have. It's simply not good not enough that they give up their time, they must give the sweat from their arse cracks too.Most people don't get paid. They give up their precious time willingly because they are compassionate people, and want to do something good for a cause they believe in, or just want to do something for mankind in their own small way. But that's not enough apparently. Their labour is deemed worthless.I wonder if the 33% withdrew their labour what would happen? How much money would charities then lose? See how much that nothing translates into.To top it off, charity workers are still more generous than the rest of society. So, congratulations on making that third feel woefully inadequate.Why you would even report this is beyond me. You could've run with charity workers give more than the rest of the population despite giving up their time.Despicable.