Charity giving among Scots drops 06/07/09

The number of Scottish people donating to charity in the last six months has dropped from 79% in April 08 - before the full felt force of the economic downturn - to 71% in April 09, according to new data out today.

Scottish males and the middle-aged (35-64 year olds) seem to have fronted the slump.

These latest findings come from not for profit sector think tank nfpSynergy’s Scottish Charity Engagement Monitor (SCEM), which surveyed a representative sample of over 1000 16 plus year old Scots.

The survey found men north of the border – numbers claiming to have given in the last 6 months slumped a full 10 percentage points from over three quarters (76%, April 2008) to just two thirds (66%, April 2009) – compared with numbers of their female compatriots so claiming dipping 7 percentage points (82%, April 2008; 75%, April 2009).

And middle-aged Scots – traditionally among the most likely donors – have been especially thrifty, in terms of numbers claiming to have given in the last 6 months.

nfpSynergy’s researcher, Jonathan Baker, said: “Our new research provides tangible evidence of the impact of the economic downturn on charitable giving in Scotland - with a significant overall year-on-year 8 percentage point dip in numbers claiming to have donated in the last 6 months, as the full felt force of the recession has made people philanthropically cautious.

"Anxiety appears especially acute amongst the middle aged – doubtless over jobs, homes and pensions - so charities may need to re-engage with this age group as the economy improves. Encouragingly, the dip in giving does at least seem to have flattened out over the last 6 months.”

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