Festive fundraising could take £580m hit due to cost-of-living crisis

The UK charity sector could see a reduction of as much as £580m in charitable donations this Christmas due to the cost-of-living crisis, research is suggesting.

The findings are based on a survey that had found that more than a third (36%) of people are looking to slash their charitable donations over the next three months.

This comes as more than half (54%) believe the winter will be “financially challenging” and their finances will become “significantly worse”.

One in ten say they have already halted donations, a quarter are set to reduce their giving, while 13% say they are set to stop backing good causes altogether over the next three months.

The analysis has been published by consumer research agency Beautiful Insights based on its latest monthly survey of consumer spending and charity donation habits.

The agency’s managing director Steven Dodds said despite being “difficult times for people, charities need to keep fundraising”.

More than half (55%) of people believe charities should still run Christmas TV advertising fundraising campaigns despite the financial uncertainty. This proportion jumped to 64% among those who were shown a charity advert prior to answering the question.

“This data shows that emotionally resonant campaigns add legitimacy to fundraising activity and help supporters empathise with a cause, whether or not they choose to give,” said Dodds.

He added: “Unfortunately the consumer outlook for the economy isn’t much better as 71% of people think the economy will get worse in the next 3 months and 23% predict things will get a lot worse.

“Charities need to be bold and more creative than ever before to engage their donors and take them with them on their fundraising journey. If supporters feel a sense of ownership and shared responsibility with the charities they are committed to, they are likely to stick with them for the long term.”

Among charities recognising the need to acknowledge the cost-of-living crisis on its campaigning is the RSPCA.

“At the RSPCA we recognise the difficult choices supporters face right now. We’re working hard to make sure that the difference people make with their donation is clearer than ever, on behalf of the abandoned and neglected animals we care for,” said its innovation development manager Adam Moore.

This is the latest survey to indicate a marked decline in giving due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Last month the Charities Aid Foundation revealed that one in ten people are holding back on donating due to rising costs and one in five are looking to reduce their donating to good causes.

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