Donor interest in children’s and anti-poverty charities grows, says survey

Evidence is emerging that the public is less likely to donate to NHS charities and instead diverting their attention to good causes supporting children and tackling mental health and poverty.

The survey found that the proportion of people donating to NHS and public health charities has fallen over the last year, from 35% in June 2020, to 31% in February this year.

Good causes to see a rise in their share of giving include children’s charities, which rose from 21% in June 2020 to 27% of giving in February this year.

Over the same period the rise in support for mental health charities increased from 15% to 23%.

Meanwhile, charities supporting foodbanks, poverty and tackling homelessness increased from 19% to 27%.

The latest figures are based on a survey of more than 1,000 people carried out in January to February this year by fundraising and events platform Enthuse.

The economic challenges to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic have contributed to the growth in interest among donors in charities tackling poverty, in particular food poverty, says Enthuse.

Another factor has been “the ongoing support for free school meals championed by Marcus Rashford which has continued to hit the headlines”.

Overall support for charities among the public has remained steady, says the report.

Around two thirds (67%) of the public say they are likely to give in the next three months “which is broadly consistent with the 69% we’ve seen donating over the last two quarters”, Enthuse found.

Return to in-person fundraising

Enthuse concludes that charities need to continue “to be agile and put digital at the heart” of their fundraising planning.

When in-person events can take place, its report recommends that charities start with small events to “see how supporters take to them”.

It adds: “Hybrid events offer the best format for appealing to the broadest possible audience at present.

“For younger ‘fun seekers’ there is still the option of in-person participation, and for ‘play safers’ the security of taking part in their own location.

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