What motivates people to give to charity and who in the UK gives the most?

This year, Virgin Money Giving did some research to find out about the UK’s fundraising habits to find out what motivates people to give more, who gives the most and how people feel about being stopped in the street by charities.

Charity chuggers unpopular this Christmas

Charity is big business at Christmas, but festive shoppers have a message for charities using chuggers [branded charity representatives on high streets] to get donations in – it’s affecting your reputation. Some 61% of 2,000 UK shoppers say being approached by a branded chugger actively puts them off donating to that charity in the future!

The survey by Virgin Money Giving, the not-for-profit fundraising site, shows that amid the fun, and sometimes stress of Christmas shopping, the last thing people want is to be approached by time-consuming clipboard warriors.

Funny fundraisers for the wincool-runner

What did sway punters to put their hands in their pockets was fundraisers going the extra mile. Wearing “embarrassing” fancy dress – whether doing a fun run or another personal challenge – meant 65.9% were more likely to donate, whilst 43% of donors were motivated by how hard the challenge was going to be.

Unselfish Scots and generous Geordies:

Despite the thrifty stereotype, Scottish people are more likely to specifically put money aside to give to charity this Christmas than anywhere else in the UK, whilst Geordies were the most generous in England. Almost 20% of Scots specifically piled up change to give to charity at Christmas, while over 15% of those in Newcastle did the same. The East Midlands, apparently not buoyed by local side Leicester City’s unlikely Premier League title win, were least tempted to share the love at Christmas with 91% of them not giving anything away to charities over the festive season.

Ever-growing online giving

The backlash against chuggers doesn’t mean the public have stopped giving to good causes. The Institute of Fundraising has revealed that over a five year period (January 2010 to December 2014), the average online donation in the UK rose by over 19%. The average online donation in 2014 was £63.69, up from £52.87 in 2010.

Not only is it easier and safer to donate online to charities through fundraising websites, but sites such as Virgin Money Giving; reclaim the Gift Aid and pass it on in full to the charity, are 100% not for profit, pay the charity within 7 days and ensure that the donation is secure.

Jo Barnett, Executive Director at Virgin Money Giving says:

Charity-giving habits are changing and our research shows that people will actively avoid hassle on the high street and can be put off from giving altogether when confronted by a chugger. At Virgin Money Giving we continue to see an increase not only in the number of charities signing up to online giving but the number of people who are using the service to make donations to their charity of choice. Online giving provides donors with a safe and secure method of donating in the knowledge that their money will reach their end cause, Gift Aid will be reclaimed and they won’t be hassled in the future for further payments. There may be a place for responsible street fundraising but digital donations definitely has many benefits that donors are starting to appreciate.”

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