Charitable Giving by UK households at Christmas (2009)

December 2009
Cass Business School, City University London

Charities in the UK have traditionally launched special appeals for donations in the period before Christmas. Christmas is a time of giving and they hope to persuade the public to extend their generosity during the festive season to charities. But apart from a few individual charities’ reports, we know little about whether people are more inclined to give to charities at Christmas.

This briefing note presents new results from an analysis of seasonal patterns in giving to charities. Examining data from the national Expenditure and Food Survey (EFS)1 we look at general patterns of giving by UK households over the calendar year to consider whether the extra emphasis on fundraising in the autumn/early winter has an impact.

Findings include:
• Average donations to charity rise in December
• This is due to a 5% increase in the numbers of people giving, and not to bigger gifts
• Donations to charity at Christmas do not rise as much as some other forms of giving, or as spending on alcohol.

This report is tagged under:

  • Other
  • Causes
  • Philanthropy stats & trends