Sometimes you just need to do a small thing to help the voiceless and abandoned – and the British championed the donations as a most charitable nation in Europe. A new survey sheds light on the causes that they support and reveals that Londoners are eager to put the money where their heart is, to paraphrase a well-known saying.

charity donations uk

The research carried out by a social donation platform Givey highlighted the UK as the most charitable country in Europe, with as many as 74% of adults giving to charity every year. The millennial generation also turned out to be the most giving: for nine of the eleven causes, more respondents in this group planned to support a cause they believe in. The website has also marked London as the most generous – but what causes do people feel strongly about?

In the survey, 53% of people said that they’re likely to donate to a cause that impacted their friends and family directly. And the charities that support cancer research have topped the list – 59% of those who donate will give an average of £44 to a cancer-related charity, which sums up as a staggering £1.33 billion nationwide.

Almost a half of the interviewees mentioned they planned to donate £44 to contribute to a charity that helps children – and 42% declared that they wanted to back an organisation that takes care of the environment-related issues and animal welfare. They’d like to give £54 for that cause – just like 37% that is concerned about poverty and homelessness.

The foreign aid, which took the ninth place in the ranking, is supported by the highest donations – the participants declared that they wish to donate £57 for this cause. It’s linked to increased consumption of news in the European Union, the survey claims. Social networking services replaced a morning newspaper read, and the availability of news stories on mobile platforms increased. That spreads awareness and helps people decide what causes need support: the BBC reported that 70% of the access to their stories come from mobile devices.

When it comes to other decisive factors, the respondents claimed that their major influences are marketing, ad spend, ease and safety. With the biggest UK charities that make up 6% of all of the non-profit organisations accumulating 90% of the donations, as the Government’s Charity Commission announced last year, it’s pretty convincing that the bigger contributions are attracted by the associations that are able to create awareness by big, visible campaigns.

People are also more likely to donate if the process isn’t too complicated – 42% are more likely to give to a recognised charity since there’s a quick and simple way of doing it. That also supports PayPal’s research, which noted that in 2016, mobile donations increased by 12%.

“All the causes listed in the poll are very worthy causes, and choosing one that means something to you personally is an important part of the donation process,” Neil Mehta, CEO of Givey, summed up the survey results. “However, small charities are still too often overlooked in favour of high-profile names due to marketing profile and ease of donating. Of course, large-scale charities are doing amazing work in their respective fields, but it is a real shame that there are so many great small charities in the UK missing out on vital donations,” he added.
Here’s how all the assessed causes scored in the research:

  1. Cancer (59% of the respondents supportive of the cause, £44 in donations on average)
  2. Children (45%, £50)
  3. Animals and the environment (42%, £54)
  4. Poverty and the homeless (37%, £54)
  5. Heart disease (35%, £33)
  6. Elderly (34%, £34)
  7. Mental health (33%, £38)
  8. Disabilities (32%, £33)
  9. Foreign aid (26%, £57)
  10. Diabetes (21%, £40)
  11. Human rights (18%, £39)
Kasia Kwasniewska

Editor in Chief

Loves reading, watching films, eyeing (and producing) good design, listening to music and stuffing her face with chocolate whenever the opportunity arises. Cooks from time to time, and drinks far too much coffee to be a normal human being. Liked my work? Buy me a coffee!

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