Fewer people giving to charity compared to one year ago

People in Northern Ireland are less likely to give money to charity and in smaller amounts compared to last year, according to NICVA research. 

The Individual Giving Survey found that 78% of people donated money to charity in the last 12 months, a decrease of 11% from 2016. The number of people who donated money to charity over the last four weeks experienced a similar trend, with a decrease from 68% in 2016 to 57% 2017.

In spite of this, comparison to UK wide research conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation- CAF, (2017)  still suggests that people in Northern Ireland are more likely to donate money to charity than people in other parts of the UK; however the gap is narrowing.

The youngest age group surveyed (16-24) continue to be the least likely to have donated money to charity over a four-week period (56%), while those aged 55-64 years were most likely to have donated (69%). The figures indicate that patterns of giving generally increase within the working age population and decline again for those aged 65+.

The average amount donated to charity over a four-week period by donors was £22.20 (£12.29 per head of population), which marked a substantial decrease from £37.80 (£25.46 per head of population) in 2016. The median donation from donors (£10) over a four-week period however showed no change between 2016 and 2017.

Interestingly, the research found that on average (mean) female donors gave slightly more compared to male donors (£23.05 / £21.29) over a four-week period. This finding contradicts what was noted in previous Individual Giving Surveys and UK wide research (CAF, 2017) which found that men were more likely to donate more. Donation amounts for both groups are still considerably smaller than the previous year.

With regards to Brexit, the results found that most respondents (75.6%) believe that the referendum result and outcome will not affect the amount that they will donate to charities in the upcoming year. However, it should be noted that only 2.9% of respondents expected the amount they donated to increase; which is considerably lower than what was found in the previous year (14%). Additionally, 6.4% of respondents expected the amount they donated to decrease, this is more than twice as large as the 2016 figure (3%).

Overall, results from the recent Individual Giving Surveys indicate that while monetary donations are declining, the number of people considering leaving a legacy donation has increased.

Results found that 9% of respondents indicated that they have made a legacy pledge, this is a significant increase on 2014 levels (2%). Furthermore, 16% of respondents stated that they would considered making a legacy pledge, whilst 11% stated that they have enquired about leaving a legacy.

The findings also revealed that people were most likely to donate to an individual person (50%) as opposed to directly to a charity (27%).

All the results from the research can be viewed on the State of the Sector webpage which can be accessed here

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