Some 68 per cent of JustGiving donations go to health charities, according to figures the online fundraising platform provided to a BBC Radio 4 programme.
Data provided by JustGiving to Radio 4’s You and Yours show broadcasted yesterday reveals that health charities are the most popular causes.
Your and Yours also reported that donations to mental health charities had increased by 40 per cent over the last four years.
JustGiving also revealed there had been an increase in the amount of people giving to poverty-related causes and a decrease in funding for arts and international aid.
Natasha Stroud, head of business intelligence at JustGiving told the show that: “We have seen quite pronounced trends within each of the cause types.”
Over the last four years there has been on average a 10 per cent increase in donations to health and poverty-related charities, but a 2 per cent drop in giving to international aid and a 33 per cent drop in giving to arts and culture, according to Stroud.
She said that this could be because people are “looking at the cause types that have got more urgency".
She added that “the arts could potentially be perceived as a bit more of a luxury, so I think the public mood is going more towards closer to home, more urgent use cases like health, poverty [and] social support”.
Stephen Cotterill, editor of Civil Society Media’s Fundraising Magazine, told the programme that: “Historically health and medical research charities have been the best funded by individual donors.
“There are a number of reasons why health charities are particularly successful. Firstly, the issues related to health touch everyone, so everyone knows someone who’s been impacted by cancer or heart disease. They have also been incredibly successful in fundraising through mass participation events.”
Recent research by Fundraising Magazine revealed that Cancer Research UK is the largest fundraising charity in the UK, raising £44.6m from voluntary donations and legacies and that five of the top 20 charities in terms of fundraised income were health charities.
Cotterill added that these charities have “enormous resources in regards to fundraising, marketing and promotion of events, and raising awareness of their causes generally”.
He also suggested that the drop in online fundraising for arts and culture charities could be related to socio-economic factors in the wake of austerity and uncertainty around Brexit. However, Cotterill noted that many such charities had strong major donor and insitutional programmes, with individual crowdfunding accounting for a smaller percentage of overall income than with some other causes.