Has the pandemic resulted in Brits donating more to charity?

Dec 3, 2021
Author: Simon Bladen
Simon is one of the firm's Audit Partners. Simon is responsible for looking after the firm’s legal, charitable and not-for-profit clients.
Pandemic brits becoming more generous

According to a recent survey, 34% of British people commented that the pandemic has resulted in them being more generous to charities. In its Generosity and Giving 2021 report, Paypal surveyed 2,000 respondents. The survey found that the pandemic increased people’s motivation to support charities. The most popular types of charities to donate to were:

  • Animal Welfare (22%)
  • Hospital and Hospices (21%)
  • Homelessness (21%)
  • Mental health care (21%)

Interestingly, despite this increase in generosity, 60% of those surveyed said that they would never volunteer themselves for a charity.


Geographical generosity

Paypal’s study found that Scottish people are the most generous with Aberdeen being the most generous city in the UK. It was found that on average British people donate £103.41 per year to charities they care about. In Aberdeen, this figure is almost double the national average at £193.76 per year. Edinburgh (£138.38) and Liverpool (£125.64) were the next most generous cities in Britain.


How generous do we think we are?

31% of respondents believe that that they are generous but 24% feel that they could be more generous still.

The survey found that the top reasons for not being more generous were:

  • Money worries (28%)
  • Increasing cost of living (25%)
  • Covid-19 lockdown measures (23%)
  • Donors being concerned about how charities are spending the money (19%)


Increase in virtual giving

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paypal’s report found that online donations are increasing as 24% of adults are using online platforms such as JustGiving and GOFundMe to raise money for charity. Younger people are much more likely to donate via this method as 54% of GenZ and 38% of Millennials donate via this method.



Future of charitable giving

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused British people to be more generous with donations which can only be a positive for the sector as a whole. Furthermore, the trend in increased virtual giving makes it far easier for people to donate as fewer people continue to carry cash. Overall, it is perhaps not surprising that the survey showed an increase in giving. One of the few positives of the pandemic has been to reinforce how important charities are to society. Hopefully the advances in the means of giving will ensure the uplift continues going forward.


How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of charity and not-for-profit accountants in Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton.

At Hawsons we recognise that not-for-profit organisations have very different requirements from other businesses and are currently exposed to a challenging economic climate.

Our dedicated team fully understands the complex, ever-changing regulatory requirements of the charity and not-for-profit sector. Irrespective of your size we wish to support you to maximise the benefits you could achieve through our specialist professional advice.

Charities & not-for-profit organisations are currently facing extensive changes in their regulatory and legal framework. Given the additional pressures on fundraising, complex tax regimes, internal risk exposure, and stakeholder demands, it has never been more important to obtain specialist professional advice.

Free initial meeting

Simon Bladen



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