British Muslims give four times the average UK donor, report says

11 Apr 2024 News

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British Muslims are the most generous group in the UK, giving more than four times as much money to charity each year than the average Brit, according to new research.

Consultancy Blue State reported that British Muslims gave £708 each on average over 12 months, compared to £165 for the wider UK population.

The researchers saw this across all income brackets and it rose to its highest amongst those earning between £75,000-£100,000.

Muslims in the UK are also twice as likely as the British average to raise money via community events and via personal challenges such as running marathons, the report says.

Fati Itani, chief executive of the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), told Civil Society he was not surprised by the findings but that it was “heartening to see this report on the generosity of British Muslim giving”.

Giving to secular charities

When it came to Zakat, an obligatory form of giving in the Islamic faith, 61% of British Muslim respondents donated to an Islamic charity and 14% to a secular charity.

However, one in two Muslims said they were open to giving Zakat to non-religious organisations.

Almost half of British Muslims said they donated their Zakat in multiple payments, indicating there are several opportunities for charities to receive a share of an individual's donation.

Some 73% of survey respondents either donated the same value as their Zakat to charity across the year, or more.

Outside of monetary donations, 17% of British Muslims said they volunteered in person last year, compared to 11% of overall respondents.

More were also involved with community organisations, 13% compared to 7%.

International donations were a big focus for Muslim donors, with 85% donating internationally in the past 12 months (compared to 48% as the UK average).

Three out of four British Muslims respondents reported having already donated to support individuals impacted by the war in Gaza. 

Donations to food banks and charity shops were at similar high rates across the general population.

Implications for British charities

Itani said: “Giving to others in charity is a fundamental pillar of Islam, with Zakat as obligatory giving on those who can afford it and also the giving of voluntary charity being highly encouraged.”

“Each year, particularly during Ramadan, we see the British Muslim community give millions to causes both within the UK and abroad. 

“It is important to see the value and contribution of UK Muslims to civil society widely recognised and for donors to also understand how powerful their giving can be.

“MCF encourages all donors to give smartly and safely to ensure that their donations create maximum impact for those in need.

“For charities engaging with the Muslim community it is important to be transparent and strategic in their engagement to ensure that there is a strong donor relationship built on trust and long-lasting impact.”

Jasmine Miah, senior strategist at Blue State said: “This research built on a study we undertook last year – when digging down into a national survey, we could see hints that British Muslims seemed to be the most generous group in British society.

“We knew we needed to go further, and with this comprehensive survey, with 3,000 people surveyed in total, and more than 1,000 of them British Muslims, we can finally confirm this finding. 

“These findings have implications for British charities, and how they engage the whole of society to provide essential services – but also reflects a positive and generous attitude not only to donations but also to community life from the UK Muslim population.”

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