Giving more to communities in difficult times

3 May 2012     Last updated: 20 Jun 2014

New research shines a light on Northern Ireland as a giving nation and highlights the appetite many people have to respond to increased need in their community by giving more money, time or energy to the causes they care about.

The research was commissioned by Give More, a new independent, UK wide campaign launched publicly, in partnership with BT, on 26 April, which seeks to celebrate giving in Northern Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. The aim is to encourage those of us, who can, to give more to good causes over the next 12 months and to inspire others to do the same.

  • 53% of adults in Northern Ireland have given time, money or energy to causes they care about in the last 6 months
  • More than any other nation over one in four (26%) respondents believe that their local community is more generous than UK communities in general.
  • 66% said that they thought need in their local community has increased in the past 12 months and nearly two-thirds (63%) think that need is likely to increase over the next 12 months - far exceeding the UK average of 57%
  • People in Northern Ireland are ready to get stuck in with a huge 27% saying they could give more to good causes than they currently do (representing approximately 369,253 people*)
  • People in Northern Ireland care significantly more about causes than the rest of the UK - caring deeply about children and young people (59% vs 46%), whilst 34% care about the environment – more than any other country in the UK - and caring deeply about disability issues (52%), well above the UK average of 30%
  • From a list, people in Northern Ireland are inspired to give to good causes by their children (41%), friends (34%) and mothers (29%)
  • This generosity is reflected by individuals in the nation saying they are more passionate about good causes (22%) than they are about sport (12%)!
Angila Chada, from Belfast, has worked for the charity Springboard Opportunities Limited, since 1992, providing unique & transformative opportunities for over 6000 people.  As a tribute to Springboard’s 20th anniversary this year and in honour of her parents, Angila has realised a personal lifelong dream to start a charitable fund with her own money – the Raj Darshna Foundation.  Angila says “While in my working life I give my heart and soul to charitable work through Springboard, I wanted to think of a way I could perpetuate the values and ethos that have made the organisation so successful and give more.  The Foundation is my lifelong personal commitment to do this.  I am not in any way wealthy, but I believe you don’t need to be – I aim to continue giving what I can and help make a difference to peoples’ lives.” 

Nuala McKeever, well-known comedy writer, says “We don’t always take compliments easily here in Northern Ireland, but we can pride ourselves on being generous people. Strong community life matters deeply to many of us, and I think we’re always up for giving more, whether that’s money, time or energy. This is more important than ever now, when times are tough and many people in our communities are suffering. It’s encouraging and exciting to realise that while we may not change the world, it is in our power to have a genuine, positive impact on the world around us. In every street, village, town and city, just think what we can achieve if we simply give more.”

Seamus McAleavey, Chief Executive, the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA) says "We are in very tough times in Northern Ireland, many people have lost their jobs, many have had their income reduced in real terms by pay freezes.  On top of this need in many areas rises, like advice, housing and mental health, increasing fuel poverty and even the provision of food for some families.  The Give More Campaign is timely, it can be part of the fight back to the recession. We encourage more people to be active citizens by giving their time to build better more resilient communities.  Northern Ireland also has a great record of giving. In tough times for everyone giving what financial support you can to help others a bit more often is also critical.  Everyone has the ability to do something positive that will make a difference.  All we need is the will and the encouragement".

Peter Morris, Consumer Director, at BT in Northern Ireland, said: “BT is very much a part of the social fabric of Northern Ireland and through our, well established, Corporate Responsibility programme, we annually invest £1m, back into the local community. Last year alone, BT people gave 1866 days of volunteering time, that’s almost 13,500 hours, all during normal working time and fully supported by BT. This equates to more than half a million pounds of investment through time and expertise alone. People in Northern Ireland are well known for their generosity, and here at BT,  I personally take every opportunity to get involved, whether it’s in support of our BT Connected Communities programme, the BTYSTE or doing something completely different, for Comic or Sport Relief, it’s definitely worth the effort!.

Give More has used the results of the research to create a Giving Nations map which illustrates the UK wide causes we care about and our giving on a national, regional and local level. For more information go to

It is also rolling out a sofa tour of cities across the UK where the general public will be encouraged to talk about the causes they care about and make their own pledge to give more to those causes. The sofa tour will be launching in Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and London on 26 April and rolling out to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Sheffield and Southampton across May. After this the campaign intends to visit other cities and communities across Northern Ireland and the other nations. 


Please contact the Anna Kenny-Ginard at [email protected]/ 020 7604 2052 for further information

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2072 adults, of which 50 were from Northern Ireland. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th March - 2nd April 2012.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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