It’s official: Scots most generous in the UK


Extensive research proves Scottish generosity is leading the UK 

11th June 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scots are more generous than the UK as a whole when it comes to being charitable, according to the largest study of giving behaviour in the country.

Despite the percentage of people giving to charity being on the slide, 76% of Scots reported that they had taken part in a charitable or social activity in 2018, 12 percentage points higher than the UK average of 64%.

Yet the overall amount donated by Scottish people to charity in 2018 fell to £851 million, down from a peak of £1.2 billion in 2017. The percentage of Scottish people donating money, sponsoring someone and volunteering also dropped between 2016 and 2018, but was still higher than the UK average.

That’s according to the Charities Aid Foundation’s annual Scotland Giving report. Findings are based on monthly polling and the report covers data collected over 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“Having three years’ worth of polling data is significant,” said Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at the Charities Aid Foundation. “It enables us to paint a more robust picture of how Scottish people give, and there are some potentially worrying trends.”

When asked if they had donated money to charity in the previous four weeks, 32% of Scots reported that they had done so during 2018, down from 33% in 2017 and 37% in 2016. When it came to sponsoring someone for charity in the previous month, the number dropped to 9% in 2018, four percentage points lower than the 13% seen in 2016. As for volunteering in the last four weeks, 8% of Scottish people reported doing so in 2018, compared to 11% in 2016.

The findings echo trends seen throughout the United Kingdom.

“The number of people in the UK regularly giving to charity has been in decline for three years, so Scotland isn’t unique in this regard,” continues Pinkney.

“We’ll also be closely monitoring the percentage of people in Scotland who say that they trust charities, as there’s been a general decline across the UK as a whole.”

In Scotland, the figure of those saying they ‘strongly’ or ‘tend to’ trust charities in 2018 was very similar to 2017 at 49% (compared to 50% in 2017 and 52% in 2016).

According to Pinkney, there are some declines to address in the overall picture of giving in Scotland, but there is scope for charities across the country to use these figures as a catalyst for greater engagement with the Scottish people. This can also act as an opportunity to reassure them that their favourite charities are worth their time, effort and hard-earned money.

“Charities form part of the bedrock of Scottish society, contributing to so many cultural, social, religious and educational activities. While we may find ourselves in uncertain political times, these ties in our communities are worth fighting to protect.”