Over half of Brits think charities have lost their humanity, report claims

Over half of Brits (53%) think charities are too corporate and have lost their humanity, a new report has claimed.

The report, Giving Britain by agency GOOD and YouGov said it “blows open the truth” around how Britain gives in 2021.

It found that one in two Brits (51%) say donating to charity is a bottomless pit, with the cynicism greater in older generations.

But as politics becomes divisive in a post-Brexit Britain, 59% believe that it’s not the role of charities to take a political stance. It claims that people want empathy more than political divisiveness.

GOOD has stated that charities need to communicate their humanity and influence. Otherwise, they risk being viewed as a money-making machine; the so-called “bottomless pit”.

It added that this communication is crucial as they compete for donors’ attention, time and money. The motivation to donate and help is still present; with one in two respondents agreeing that charities are unique because they put people before profit.

However, the last eighteen months has highlighted the stark reality of social issues in the UK and research has uncovered that 43% of Brits no longer think charities are the best way to solve social problems.

Targeting demographics

The report said charities need to break down the demographic of their donors to reach untapped audiences. Research indicates this is most likely to be younger people but the sector is struggling to reach this demographic to “detrimental effect”.

Younger people report higher belief in charities - with almost half of millennials reporting that donating to charity gives them the power to change the things they care about.

It found that younger people are empowered by their giving experiences and rank the desire to ‘support a movement’ highest when asked their top reason for donating to charity.

This is in contrast with the over-55s who are more likely to give when they ‘have a personal connection to the cause’. However, it says this sense of activism in the act of giving is currently being ignored by fundraisers.

The research also presents the “alarming” statistic that 45% of millennials report no ‘charity interaction’ compared with 27% of the over-60s.

Overwhelmingly, charities are still seen as important with 79% agreeing that charities are vital because they help the most vulnerable. However, it is kindness that respondents see as their role in society, with 73% agreeing charities are important because they encourage everyone to be a little more kind.

This is in contrast to the fact that 59% think charities should avoid being political.
Respondents believe this is not a charity's role, which indicates there is a huge opportunity in promoting kindness and good to connect with new donors.

Other key findings included:

• Three out of four of people want ‘charities to give a hand up, not a hand out.’
• The importance of the ask – when respondents were asked why they didn’t donate in a situation where they were asked, the leading response was that they ‘didn’t like the way they were asking.’
• In the UK there are more charity donors under 55 (56%) than over 55 (44%).

To read the full report, click here

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