£2bn more donated to charities in 2022, says CAF report

30 Apr 2023 News


An estimated £12.7bn was donated to charities in 2022, an increase of £2bn on the year before, according to the UK Giving Report 2023.

Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)’s latest study of household donor behaviour reports that giving spiked in March and April last year, seemingly in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with average donations increasing in those months to £85 and £64, respectively.

However, it says that donations throughout the rest of the year were similar to 2021 and lower than pre-pandemic levels.

It also says that volunteering and sponsorship have still not recovered to pre-2020 levels, which CAF said suggests “a worrying and permanent change in charitable activity”.

Donations rise

The report says that donations rose from £10.7bn in 2021 to £12.7bn in 2022, although analysis from Pro Bono Economics suggests that rising inflation may have eroded the increase by as much as £500,000.

CAF said the increase in the overall amount given in 2022 was a result of people donating higher amounts, rather than more people giving.

Its report says that during 2022 as a whole, 59% of people gave to charity through direct donations or sponsorships, up from 57% in 2021 but still lower than pre-pandemic levels (65% in 2019).

More people aged over 45 donated (65% compared to 62% in 2021) but fewer people aged 16 to 24 did so (42% compared to 44% in 2021).

Meanwhile, 17% of respondents said they would be likely to cut their charitable donations in future due to the cost-of-living crisis. 

CAF’s estimations contrast with those made in a recent report by the Benefact Group, which said that charitable donations fell by £5bn in 2022 from £9.3bn the year before, with the number of those donating increasing to 76% of UK adults but average donations more than halving to £101.

Volunteering plateaus

Some 7% of respondents said they had volunteered in the previous four weeks, the same proportion as the year before but less than 2019 levels (9%).

Meanwhile, the report says that 13% of people volunteered at some point in 2022, compared to 16% in 2018, a decline of around 1.6 million people.

Overall, the report estimates that participation in charitable and civic activities in 2022 was similar to 2021 (83% in 2021 to 84% in 2022) and is still below pre pandemic levels of 88%.

‘Worrying decline’

Neil Heslop, CAF chief executive, said: “It is worrying that we continue to see a declining number of people donating to charity alongside the drop in participation in fundraising events and volunteering due to Covid lockdowns, which now appear to be locked in.

“While the government’s lifelines for charities this year may have been make or break for many, these findings show the next task is to come up with the policy solutions and incentives required to foster a more widespread culture of giving and participation in the UK.”

Jansev Jemal, research and policy director at Pro Bono Economics, said: “Charities have experienced a protracted period of difficulty since the outset of the pandemic.

“While managing a truly challenging triple threat of rising costs, income worries and spiralling demand, they continue to play their critical role supporting communities, providing services, and campaigning for change.

“It’s important that policymakers consider how they can support charities to raise more funds and to invest in the improvements they need.”

CAF’s latest report draws on monthly interviews conducted online throughout 2022. Around 13,000 interviews were conducted in total.

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