Last year, we looked at what the implications of Brexit would be on charities and social organisations. There was widespread concern that if a leave result came out on top, the third sector would suffer in terms of donations and fundraising.
The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) have released a report which offsets the public’s concerns. CAF have produced the annual UK Giving report since 2004 and is the leading study of charitable behaviour in the UK. 2016’s report has been produced collaboratively with YouGov with the sample size being significantly widened to provide a greater insight into how we are support charities post-Brexit result.
The report found that donations to charities has not been stinted as a result of Brexit; in fact, donations actually increased with £9.7bn being given in 2016 compared to £9.6bn in 2015.
There has been a ‘Brexit-Effect’ in other areas of the third sector; more people are engaging in social and political issues, the report stated it was the highest figure recorded for over a decade. According to the report, 56 per cent said they had signed a petition in the previous 12 months and six per cent said they had taken part in a demonstration or protest.
What effect has Brexit had on the Third Sector?
The in-depth study found that:
- People are becoming more charitable. Almost 9 in 10 people (89%) did something charitable last year, a significant increase on 2015 when 79% said the same. Over half of the population donated money (61%) or gave goods to charity (56%) and one in six (17%) volunteered.
- Medical research is the most popular cause. Just over one in four people (26%) gave to a medical research charity last year, closely followed by animal welfare (25%) and children and young people (24%).
- £18 is the median average contribution for a charitable donation or sponsorship. Cash is still the most common way for people to give, accounting for 58% of people having donated in this way. Just over one in four (26%) gave online.
- Women are more charitable than men. 14% of men said they had not participated in any charitable activity in the past year, compared with just 8% of women.
- Younger people are less likely to donate money than older people (54% of 16-24s donated in the last year, vs. 68% of 65+) but they are more likely to volunteer, sign a petition or take part in a public demonstration or protest.
- Charitable giving peaked in November. More than two-in-five people (41%) said they had given in the month of high profile campaigns like Children in Need, the Poppy appeal and Movember.
CAF Chief Executive, John Low said:
“While huge change was taking place all around us last year, one thing which remained consistent was the reliable and enduring generosity of people in the UK in their support of good causes.
“The consequences and impact of the EU referendum result are likely to become increasingly apparent over the months and years ahead.
“We know that people increasingly feel they want to make a difference and many see charities as a way to achieve that. Charities already play an integral role in the lives of so many. At this critical time in our nation’s history, their importance is only likely to increase.”