Just under half (48%) of British men fail to support good causes or get involved in social action in a typical month, say figures recently by the Charities Aid Foundation.

Men are much less likely than women to be involved in supporting causes across all types of giving, including volunteering, donating money and sponsorship, says UK Giving, the annual report on giving behaviour across the nation. Over three fifths (63%) of women get involved in some way during a typical month, compared to 52% of men.

Women are also nearly twice as likely to donate to a charity shop, 27% gifting their items in the four weeks prior to interview, compared to 15% of men.

Younger people are also less likely to be involved with supporting good causes, nearly three fifths (58%) of those aged 16 – 24 doing none of the charitable or social actions listed in a typical month. Those aged 45-64 are the most likely to be involved, 63% having done something for a good cause in the previous month.

The report estimates that Britons donated £10.6bn to charity in 2014.

Poorer people appear to give away a higher proportion of their income, those earning under £9,500 giving away an estimated 4% of their income last year, compared to those with an income over £25,000, who gave 1% to good causes.

UK Giving, an in-depth study of giving across the nation, is produced by the Charities Aid Foundation, a charity which helps people and businesses support the causes they care about, and provides financial services designed for the charitable sector.

The report has been expanded this year to include questions that go beyond giving money, looking at other ways people may choose to support causes, as well as their motivations for doing so.

Eight out of ten people (79%) did at least one charitable giving or social action activity in the last 12 months, with over half (57%) having done so in the last month.

There has been a rise in the proportion of people giving money to overseas causes over the past year, possibly due to high-profile appeals such as the Disasters Emergency Committee’s Ebola campaign. A higher proportion of donors also report giving to animal charities in 2014.

When asked about the potential barriers to giving, 70% agreed that they would be more inclined to give if they knew how the money was directly helping.

Over two-thirds (68%) said there were so many charities it was difficult to choose, and just over half (53%) worry that if they give they will only then be asked for more money.

The research also shows:

  • 44% of people give money to charity in a typical month, with a typical gift of £14
  • People give an average of £10 away through sponsorship, less than when giving directly
  • Medical research is the cause supported by the largest proportion of donors 33%, followed by children and young people, 30%, and ‘hospitals & hospices’ at 25%
  • Religious causes receive the largest share of donations in terms of monetary value (14%), as the typical donation of £20 is much higher than the overall average
  • Those on higher incomes are more likely than others to give to overseas charities, as well as children, environment and religious causes.
  • Cash continues to be the most common method of giving, followed by direct debit. Online giving has been used by 15% of donors in the last 12 months, and text by 11%
  • Despite an apparent online and social media focus, young donors are actually much more likely than average to give cash – 66% compared to 55% overall.

John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Britons are inherently generous and it’s great to see so many people continuing to give up their money, their belongings and their time, or sponsoring others to help the causes closest to them.

“UK Giving is now bigger and better, looking far beyond the financial side of being charitable to explore the who, what, how and why of our support for charities across the country.

“Charities clearly need to do more to motivate certain groups of society to get involved with charities in their communities, especially younger men. Fundraisers such as Movember and Tough Mudder have gone some way in catching the imagination of this group over the last few years, but there is clearly still some way to go.

“Many people remain concerned that the money they donate may not be used to best effect, and charities must ensure they are properly communicating the achievements of their work to the people whose funding make it possible.”

Download the UK Giving 2014 report.

 

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