People more likely to donate to a charity if it has helped someone they know, poll claims

Causes affecting friends and family inspire greater generosity

Emma Elsworthy
Monday 02 December 2019 14:50 GMT

People in Britain are more likely to donate to a charity if it has helped someone they know.

A study of 2,000 adults found one third are more inclined to give to a cause if it has assisted someone close to them.

And the same number feel more charitable if a friend or family member has suffered from a condition related to the organisation.

Wanting to help someone in need or seeing something upsetting on the news are also among the reasons people dig deep for good causes.

It also emerged 25 per cent of respondents are driven by the desire to help others, while 36 per cent feel good when they give to charity.

And 62 per cent would be more likely to give if they knew their donation was to be matched, growing the impact of their gift.

Charities which support children and young people are the most popular to support in the UK, along with medical and animal organisations.

More than seven in 10 of those polled by The Big Give believe it’s important to give to charity, with almost 65 per cent wishing they could afford to give more to good causes.

Jonathan Frank, director of The Big Give and its Christmas Challenge 2019 - the national fundraising appeal launching on 'Giving Tuesday' (3 December), said: “Our research confirms that the public recognises the key role charities play in our society and how important it is to give back.

“Christmas is traditionally a time for giving, where people are known for their generosity and thoughtfulness towards families, friends and charities alike.

“We’re looking to make a huge difference this December and for one week only, as part of our Christmas Challenge, our funding champions will double all donations made through The Big Give’s website.”

The study also found that although handing over cash is the way most people choose to give money (56 per cent), donation channels are changing and one in five are now happy to give online from their mobile phone, a computer or via contactless.

And one quarter of respondents are willing to commit to regular spend via direct debit throughout the year.

Over the past 12 months, in addition to donating money, one fifth of adults have taken part in a sponsored event or activity.

One quarter have volunteered or given their time, while 12 per cent have organised a fundraising collection to gather donations.

Almost one in six British adults have also given blood this year, with more than one in 10 having joined the organ donor list.

And 24 per cent have amended their shopping habits, to try and only shop in places where the business donates some of the proceeds to charity.

A quarter of people in Britain also say they feel a sense of pride following their good deed, with more than half feeling that Christmas is a time for giving.

Spending time with family and thinking of those who are less fortunate during the festive season were reasons why respondents feel compelled to give this winter.

Just under one quarter said having time off work usually makes them think about what really matters, and one fifth say feeling guilty about spending so much on presents makes them more likely to give to those who are in need.

And as the festive season approaches, buying cards including a charity donation and giving to a food bank scored the most likely charitable acts that will take place across the UK.

However, 24 per cent of those polled, via OnePoll, have no plans to do anything charitable in the lead up to Christmas.

The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2019 aims to raise £14m for good causes, and brings together supporters, philanthropists and almost 600 UK charities in the nation’s biggest match funding appeal.

Throughout the week (3-10 December), people in Britain are being encouraged to choose their favourite cause and donate online at to see their donations matched, pound for pound, by the campaign’s funding partners.

Sir Alec Reed, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of The Big Give, says: “Charitable giving is a very personal issue and there are a wide range of factors that inspire us to donate.

“And yet, we all want to feel that our donations really do make a difference.

“The Christmas Challenge is a once-a-year opportunity to achieve even greater impact for the causes we care about.

“There’s never a better time to think about what we can do to give back.”


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