Give or Take a Few Billion (2012)

December 2012

Surveys of charitable giving in the UK often present their results as if they provided a single definitive answer. For example, the recent UK Giving 2012 report (CAF/NCVO, 2012) claims that annual donations to charity have decreased by 20% in real terms, or £2.3 billion in today’s money. This briefing note explains why it is unwise to take such figures at face value. Further interpretation reveals how:

  • based on information provided in the same report, the total amount donated in 2011/12 is estimated to lie anywhere between £8.2 billion and £10.2 billion;
  • the actual amount may fall outside that range;
  • results from a larger scale survey of household spending suggest that they value of donations to charity did not decrease significantly in 2011.

This report is tagged under:

  • Government, legal and tax issues
  • Understanding philanthropy