Britons cut down on charity donations by 20% last year

Public donations to charity fell by 20% in real terms last year, with good causes receiving £1.7 billion less, according to a new survey.

The survey for the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) and National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) found that the number of individuals giving to charity fell in 2011/12 and amounts donated also declined, from £11 to £10 a month.

Data from 3,000 people, collected by the Office for National Statistics, suggested that:

  • Total giving to charities by members of the public in the UK fell from £11 billion to £9.3 billion in 2011/12 - the largest one-year decline in the Survey of Individual Giving's eight-year history.
  • When inflation is taken into account, the £1.7 billion reduction is the equivalent of a £2.3 billion fall in donations - more than 20% of total UK giving by individuals.
  • The survey found that 28.4 million people gave to charity during 2011/12 - more than half of all UK adults
  • But the proportion of people donating to charitable causes in a typical month fell from 58% to 55%
  • A larger proportion of women (58%) than men (52%) gave to charity