Giving

Average amount donated per person in the last 12 months:

£135.78

 

 

Introduction

The Individual Giving Survey 2021 was commissioned by NICVA in December 2020. Data collection was undertaken using a fully representative sample (n=1,000) of the Northern Ireland adult (16+) population in terms of age, sex, socio-economic grouping and area. This survey allows NICVA to gather data from members of the public in Northern Ireland to map their patterns of donating to charity. Changes in these patterns and methods of giving were also measured. You can find out more about the methodology here.  

The findings from previous Individual Giving Surveys are presented below alongside findings from the new Individual Giving Survey 2021.

1.  Charitable Giving in Northern Ireland

On average, £135.78 was donated to charity per person in Northern Ireland during the past 12 months.

The Individual Charitable Giving Survey 2021 found that almost three quarters of the adult population donated to charity (68%) over the last 12 months which marks a decrease of 3% from 2020

  • During the past 12 months, on average respondents donated £135.78 to charity. This marked a considerable decrease in charitable giving on the figure reported in 2020 which was £168.86 per person
  • The proportion of charity donations were on average significantly higher amongst males (£154.06) and those in the 65+ years (£215.71) age group
  • Respondents married/living with a partner (£167.89) donated more to charity than those who were single/separated/widowed/divorced (£85.57)
     


2.  Patterns of Charitable Giving

The Individual Giving Survey 2021 showed that respondents aged between 25-34 years (60%) were the least likely to have donated to charity in the past 12 months.

  • Consistent with Individual Giving 2019, respondents aged between 25-34 years (60%) were the least likely to have donated to charity in the past 12 months whereas respondents aged 65+ (75%) were the most likely group to donate to charity
  • Donor activity was more prevalent amongst respondents from more affluent ABC1 backgrounds (76%) and those living in the Greater Belfast (71%) area

3.  Intention to Donate to Charity

Almost half of respondents (46%) reported that they intend to donate money/gift to charity in the next 12 months.

  • Almost half of respondents (46%) reported that they intend to donate money/gift to charity in the next 12 months. This is a small increase from the figure (40%) reported in Individual Giving 2020
  • An almost equal proportion of males (44%) and females (48%) indicated their intention to donate or gift to charity in the next 12 months
  • Respondents in the 16-24 (54%) age group, those from affluent ABC1 backgrounds (53%) and those living in the Greater Belfast (49%) were more likely to give to charity in the next 12 months

Intention to Donate to Charity in the next 12 months (n=1000)

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2021)
Intention to donatePercent %
Yes46
No32
Don't know22

4.  The Impact of Covid-19 on Charitable Giving

Over a quarter (27%) of respondents had decreased their charitable giving since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic

  • 27% or respondents had decreased their charitable giving since the beginning of the pandemic
  • Several reasons for the decrease in giving were cited including job losses/income loss (45%), prefer to support local business (25%) , fewer opportunities due to Covid (22%) and feel that charities are already well supported (9%)
  • A small proportion of respondents (14%) reported an increase in their charitable giving since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic
  • In the next 12 months, three quarters (75%) of respondents expected their charitable giving to remain the same, 16% expected their giving to increase whilst nearly 1 in 10 (9%) expected it to decrease. Job loss/income loss (56%), prefer to support local businesses (22%) and feel that charities are already well supported (20%) were the main reasons cited for this decrease
  • Uncertainty around job security due to the Covid-19 pandemic influenced around 21% of respondents to donate less to charity. This was more prevalent in females (22%) and those aged 25-34 (29%)
  • However, over half (56%) of respondents indicated that uncertainty around jobs security did not influence their charitable giving. This was more prevalent in males (66%) and those in the 65+ age group

5.  Methods of Giving

5.1  Methods of Donating to Charity

Cash (57%) was the most frequent method of donating to charity.

  • Cash remains the most popular method of donating to charity, with the Individual Giving Survey 2021 revealing that 57% of donors used this method
  • Respondents aged 35-49 years (36%) and those aged 65+ years (40%) were more likely to donate cash to charity
  • Almost a half of the respondents (44%) used digital means to donate to charity and this method was more frequently used by those from the ABC1 socio-economic group
  • A small proportion (15%) indicated that they donated in kind only e.g., household goods, food, clothes. This type of donation was more prevalent in females (20%) than males (8%) and in those aged 25-34 years
  • Finally, 8% of respondents indicated that they never donate to charity

Preferred Methods of Donation (n=1000)

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2021)
MethodPercent %
Cash33
Digital means (cashless)20
Both24
In kind only (household goods, food, clothes)15
Never donate to charity8

5.2   Methods of Digital Donations

The most preferred digital method used by respondents to donate to charity was Direct Debit (43%).

  • Of those who donated digitally, almost half (43%) of respondents donated to charity using direct debit methods. This marks a significant decrease in the number of respondents who donated via direct debit (78%) in the previous survey. Direct debit donations were highest amongst males (51%) and those in the 50-64 (53%) and 65+ years age group (53%)
  • PayPal (37%) was the second most utilised method of donating digitally. This signified a notable increase from the figure cited in the Individual Giving Survey 2020 whereby 13% of respondents used this method
  • There was also a marked increase in the use of online giving platforms (32%) e.g., Crowdfunding compared with 18% reported in 2020
  • Donating directly via charity websites (27%) had also increased from the 2020 whereby only 10% of respondents donated using this method
  • It was reported that 15% of respondents used Facebook links to donate which marked a threefold increase from the previous survey
  • Apps (2%) were the least preferred method used to donate digitally to charity

Preferred Types of Digital Donations (n=447)

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2021)
MethodPercent %
Direct Debit43
Paypal37
Online giving platform32
Directly through charity website27
Facebook link15
Text12
Online shopping10
Contactless terminal (tap and pay)5
Other4
App2

5.3  Reasons for Not Donating Digitally

Almost half (46%) of those who did not donate using digital means cited that the main barrier was “concerns around security of their card”

  • Of those who did not donate via digital means, concerns around the security of their card (46%), lack of contactless “tap and pay” terminals (23%) and do not carry/use a card (19%) were cited as barriers
  • 13% of respondents cited that they lacked understanding around using digital methods

Reasons for Not Donating Digitally (n=332)

Source: Individual Giving Survey (2021)
ReasonPercent %
Concerns around the security of the card46
Lack of contactless terminals (tap and pay)23
Do not carry / use a card19
Lack of understanding of how it works13
Prefer to use cash6
No reason4
Do not want pleas for follow up donations1
Like to donate to a selection of charities1