Areas with lower charity spending were more likely to vote for Brexit, finds report 

25 Jul 2018 News

Areas in England where there is less charitable spending were more likely to vote in favour of leaving the European Union, according to an analysis by the Young Foundation. 

In a report published this month titled Patchwork Philanthropy: Philanthropic and public spending blind spots & the Brexit vote, the social innovation think tank says it has found a correlation between lower amounts of charity spending and trust and foundation funding, and people voting for Brexit.

In local authority areas that voted to leave, the average amount of charitable spend per head was £456, compared to £618 per head in areas that voted to remain. 

There was a similar correlation for levels of trust and foundation funding, with leave areas receiving an average of £11.29 per 100,000 and remain areas having £19.14. The Young Foundation used data available through 360Giving, which represents about 60 per cent of trust and foundation funding. 
The report notes that “correlation does not necessarily imply causation,” and that there were regional variations. The analysis excludes the City of London and Newark and Sherwood, which it says are outliers.

But it says that “in the five local authorities with the highest leave vote, four had a lower than average charitable spend/ trust and foundation funding per head”.

“Our findings have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg in terms of the patchwork of philanthropy that makes up England,” the report says. 

It calls for more research to break down the findings into smaller sizes of community and for qualitative research to understand what is happening in communities. 

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