Individuals gave an estimated £1.2 billion (equating to €1.36 billion) to charity in Scotland last year, according to the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). This was up from the estimated £813 million donated in 2016.


CAF’s Scotland Giving Report also found that Scotland accounted for 11.8% of all UK charitable donations, despite representing just 8.4% of the UK’s population.


However, the increase in donations was not fuelled by more people giving. Instead, it was driven by the same number of people giving significantly more. 2017 saw the average donation increase to £60 in 2017 from £36 in 2016.


The most popular cause was children and young people. 28% of those surveyed gave to this cause, followed by 27% to medical research, and 25% to animal welfare.


Two-thirds (66%) of people also took part in a charitable or social activity, such as volunteering for a charity, donating money or goods, or buying an ethical product. More than half (56%) of those interviewed said they signed a petition in the previous 12 months, while 27% had done so over the previous four weeks.


This is the second annual Scotland Giving Report, and is based on YouGov monthly polling of 1,061 adults in Scotland between January and December 2017.


Sir John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“It’s great to see the total amount donated increasing across Scotland. Activism is also on the rise, perhaps reflecting the turbulent times in which we live. This paints a picture of a thriving, vibrant society of which we should all be proud.


“It’s easy to take the work of our charities for granted – indeed CAF’s research over many years shows that millions of people benefit from their work without even realising it. But this report shows how much people value good causes. Without the support of these generous donors, we would all be so much the poorer.”