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Should We Be Donating More To Charities?

There are approximately over one hundred and seventy thousand registered charities in England and Wales as of 2021, all striving to make a difference and advance the causes of their patrons. In doing so, most operate purely on the financial injection given from donators, which begs the question, should we be giving more?

In 2020, the average amount donated to charities per month was £27, compared with £24 the previous year, which although may not sound like much of an increase, does actually represents a 12.5% growth (Statista, 2021). Whilst this may indeed sound positive, in both 2017 and 2018 this same figure stood at £45 per month (Charity Aid Foundation, 2019). Therefore, with a 40% decrease in the amount of money donated per month to charities across the UK, which demographics are tightening their belts when it comes to giving?

Statistics show that over the passing eight years, women have consistently been more likely to give to charity than their male counterparts, however, both gender's donations have steadily declined. In 2013, 85% of women, and 79% of men were recorded to donate to charitable causes, whereas by 2021, only 67% of women, and 59% of men were as charitable (Statista, 2021). This is also mirrored in the different age groups of donators, whereby all ages from 16 - 24, to 75 and over, have seen decreases in the proportion of those who give. This is particularly prevalent with the age groups of 16 - 24, 25 - 34, and 35 - 49, who recorded a 24%, 20% and 19% decrease, respectively. This is illustrated in the table below, which represents the percentage of the population in England who gave to charity from 2013/14 to 2020/21, by age group.

(Statista, 2021)

Obviously, one must assume that the rapid decline in donations, particularly over the passing two years, can be attributed primarily to a changing economic climate, a increase in uncertainty, and a fluctuating labour market stirred up by the Covid-19 pandemic. In that time, unemployment in the UK rose to a five year high of 5.3% as a large proportion of the UK found themselves out of work. Even many who were able to retain their job found themselves furloughed, with a wage decrease that meant it was difficult to cover their monthly expenses, let alone set money aside to donate to charity. However, now that normality seems increasingly closer, and UK job vacancies have hit a record high, should we be encouraged to put our hands in our pockets and donate to the causes that matter the most to us?


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