Brexit has had no effect on UK charity donations

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Survey shows impact of Brexit negligible in terms of charity giving 

11th April 2017 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Brexit has had no effect on charity donations but more people are getting involved in protests and campaigns, according to the UK’s leading study on charitable giving.

The Charities Aid Foundation’s annual UK Giving report found that giving to charity has held steady despite huge political developments last year, with donations totalling £9.7 billion.

And month-by-month surveys since the EU referendum showed no shift in people’s reported giving.

But there has been a Brexit-effect on other type of support for charities and causes, with volunteering and campaigning both up since the referendum.  

More than half of UK adults (56%) say they signed a petition in the past year. The number saying they had taken part in a public demonstration or protest was also comparatively high of at 6%, equivalent to 3 million UK adults.

People who voted in the EU referendum – whether they opted to remain (93%) or leave (87%) – are more likely to have done something charitable in 2016 than those who didn’t vote at all (82%).  

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.

“Our research shows that there has been no ‘Brexit-effect on charitable donations so far, but there has been a noticeable increase in people engaging in social and political issues.

"Numbers of people who said they signed a petition or took part in a protest or demonstration last year are the highest recorded in more than a decade of us producing this report.”

Among the findings, the study discovered that people are becoming more charitable with almost 9 in 10 doing something charitable last year.

Medical research is the most popular cause, £18 is the median average contribution for a charitable donation or sponsorship, and women are more charitable than men.

Low added: “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.”

This year’s UK Giving survey has doubled the number of interviewees from 4,000 in last year’s report to 8,000 this year.

Interviews are carried out online by YouGov.

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