Giving Tuesday donations stagnating in UK, research finds

19 Jul 2023 News

Donations in the UK on Giving Tuesday have plateaued, raising a similar amount in the past three years, according to new research.

Giving Tuesday has raised approximately £20m for charities in the UK for the last three years, accumulating 3.5% of the festive season’s donations in 2022, compared to 3.9% in 2021 and 4.2% in 2020.

Enthuse’s report found that the UK scheme has struggled to emulate the success of the original US version, which started in 2012 and raised $3.1bn last year, a 15% increase from 2021.

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising (CIoF), which began running the UK campaign last year, said the day’s success was about more than just donations.

Campaign ‘yet to cement itself’ in UK

Giving Tuesday raised above the 3.2% average proportion of donations during the Christmas period last year, the report says, but it made a similar amount to other days on the same week (3.5% on average).

The report’s authors said this means “it’s not a standout candidate for starting Christmas campaigns on”.

“1 December stands clear as the best day in the opening week at 4.3%, which makes it the joint fourth highest fundraising day of the month,” it says.

“This points to charities getting a better return by focusing on allocating their budget for Christmas campaign launches from 1 December rather than from Giving Tuesday.”

The report says the relative success of the US campaign is its connection with Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday and Black Friday – “something the UK hasn’t been able to lean on in the same way”.

“Giving Tuesday is yet to cement itself as a key pillar of the Christmas fundraising period in the UK, which is underlined by the fact that it was only the third best performing Tuesday of the giving season in 2022,” the report says.

CIoF: ‘Non-financial aspect’ important

Daniel Fluskey, director of policy and communications at CIoF: “Planning the end of year fundraising campaigns is really important for charities with it being such a key time for engaging with supporters. 

“Giving Tuesday works well for some organisations who have seen some great results with their campaigns and have made it part of their annual planning.

“A big part of Giving Tuesday is the non-financial aspect – charities also use it as a day of raising awareness, saying thank you, or launching volunteering initiatives.

“And it’s important to remember that companies – including NatWest and Whistles – also use it as a day to raise money or show their support for good causes.” 

Giving Tuesday will take place on 28 November this year.

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the free Civil Society daily news bulletin here.


More on