Significant drop in donations to charities says new report

Credit: Ian Johnston

New research commissioned by niche bank Cambridge & Counties Bank reveals one in four people (24%) intend to donate less to charity this year than in 2016, and only 12% anticipate they will give more. Nearly half (47%) expect to donate around the same amount as last year.

When it comes to why they will donate less, 39% said the main reason was because their disposable income has fallen, and 36% said it was down to their cost of living rising.  One in four (24%) said it was a result of other personal circumstances changing meaning they have less money.


Change in donations to charities during 2017 when compared to 2016 Percentage of UK population
Up to £50 less 15%
Between £51 and £100 less 6%
Between £101 and £200 less 2%
Over £200 less 1%
Up to £50 more 5%
Between £51 and £100 more 3%
Between £101 and £200 more 2%
Between £201 and £300 more 1%
Over £300 more 1%
About the same as last year 47%
I don’t donate to charities 11%
Don’t know 7%


As well as a possible fall in donations, research commissioned by Cambridge & Counties Bank also reveals many returns on cash deposit accounts for charities are offering extremely low returns.

Its deposit accounts pay from 1.10% Gross AER on deposits of £10,000 or more, but its findings reveal around 30% of other cash deposit accounts for charities are offering returns of 0.1% Gross AER or less.  Around 13% offer less than 0.1% Gross AER. Less than 1% of deposit accounts open to charities are paying 1.00% Gross AER or more.

Rachel Curtis-Bowen, Chief Customer Officer at Cambridge & Counties Bank said: “The cost of living for many people is rising and our research shows that for many this means they will be donating less to charities this year.  Charities rely heavily on donations and if they see a drop here it could adversely affect the services and help they provide to millions of people.“However, charities can offset the impact of any fall in donations by making sure that the interest rate they receive on their cash deposits is competitive, and if it’s not they should be prepared to switch to a different provider or account.”