Worrying research from one of the UK's most authoritative studies
Giving in the UK could be in permanent decline, according to the latest Giving Report.
Charity donations have not fully recovered since lockdown with many organisations believing giving is now permanently down.
The Charities Aid Foundation’s UK Giving Report, published this week, paints a bleak picture for charities reliant on donations and sponsorship.
charitable and civic activities in 2022 was similar to 2021 (83 per cent in 2021 to 84 per cent in 2022), but still well below the 88 per cent in 2019.
Only 7% of people reported in 2022 volunteering for a charity in the past four weeks, down from 9% in 2019.
Volunteering in the last year was down from 17% in 2019 to 13% in 2022 - the equivalent of 1.6 million fewer people over the past five years.
Neil Heslop OBE, chief executive of CAF, said: “It is worrying that we continue to see a declining number of people donating to charity alongside the drop in participation in fundraising events and volunteering due to Covid lockdowns, which now appear to be locked in.
“While the government’s lifelines for charities this year may have been make-or-break for many, these findings show the next task is to come up with the policy solutions and incentives required to foster a more widespread culture of giving and participation in the UK.”
The survey found the cost-of-living crisis had also had a marked impact on charitable giving.
Across 2022, 69% of people said they would need to make cuts to their spending to help manage bills, including 17% who said they would be likely to cut their charitable donations.
A quarter of people reported changing their charitable behaviours, including reducing or cancelling a regular charity donation, and choosing not to make a one-off donation.
Compared to the same months in 2021, March and April were the only months of 2022 when giving spiked, seemingly in reaction to the invasion of Ukraine.
This contributed to an estimated £12.7bn donated to charities in 2022, an increase of £2bn compared to 2021.
The report said the increase in the overall amount given in 2022 was a result of people donating higher amounts, rather than an increase in the number of people giving.
Jansev Jemal, research and policy director at Pro Bono Economics, said: “Charities have experienced a protracted period of difficulty since the outset of the pandemic.
“While managing a truly challenging triple threat of rising costs, income worries and spiralling demand, they continue to play their critical role supporting communities, providing services and campaigning for change.
“It’s important that policymakers consider how they can support charities to raise more funds and to invest in the improvements they need.”