Eight out of ten people in the UK donate after being asked, rather than because of a spontaneous decision, research from the Institute of Fundraising and YouGov has revealed.


The joint report, Insights on Charity Fundraising: Why people give and their experience of donating, looks at how and why people give, and highlights the important role fundraising plays.


It reveals that three in ten of those who were asked to donate thought they would not have donated if they had not been asked, while 10 per cent said that they would have donated a smaller amount if they hadn’t been asked. Charity shops were the most common way in which people were asked to donate (22 per cent) while another 9 per cent gave to someone collecting through a collection tin.


The research also looked at what motivated people to make their most recent donation to charity. Nearly three in five people (59 per cent) said the main reason they had given money was because it was a cause they believed in. 37 per cent said they did so because they think supporting charities is a good thing to do and 21 per cent because the charity had helped someone they know.


Daniel Fluskey, Head of Policy and Research at the Institute of Fundraising, said:

“Money raised through fundraising activities is the single most important source of income for the charity sector. People in the UK are incredibly generous, with levels of giving improving year on year.


“Without fundraising, we wouldn’t have charitable giving at the same level, and these findings demonstrate the importance of having a range of opportunities to reach people through fundraising, as well as reminding us that people give because they care about causes and want to do something good."


In addition, further IoF research, Insights on charity fundraising: changes in knowledge, attitude, and action as a result of donating, shows that donating has a positive effect on the majority of people with nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of those who give to charity taking further positive action as a result.


Of all those donating, almost a quarter (24 per cent) became regular givers, more than one in five talked about it or recommended it to a charity or friends or family and the same proportion supported, liked or followed the cause or charity on social media. The next most common actions were to look for more information about the cause, sign up to a newsletter, join a campaign or petition and to give time as a volunteer. Six per cent went on to use one or more of the charity's services.


Fluskey added:

“These findings show that supporting the causes we care about also has wider benefits for society and those donating. Whether going on to volunteer, signing a petition, learning about health risks, or just feeling more positive, giving to a cause you care about is a good thing for those donating, as well as charities in need of support.”


The reports are part of a series of short reports looking at fundraising and the views and experience of the public, published by the IoF in May and June this year.