Almost half of voluntary sector income is from the public — the largest source — followed by more than a quarter from the government. This is the first time in over 20 years that public income has made up the majority of voluntary sector income. Most other sources of income declined, including government income, which fell to 26% of all income UK Civil Society Almanac 2022

According to the Charities Aid Foundation:

  • 62% of people in the UK gave to charity via donation or sponsorship in 2020
  • People gave £11.3 billion to charity in the UK in 2020, up from £10.6 billion in 2019
  • Statistics show that fewer people are giving, but those who are making donations are giving more and the average monthly donation in the UK in 2021 was £49
  • People aged over 65 are more likely to engage in charitable activities (65% donate money to charity) although around half the adult population across other age ranges also donate (49% of 16-24 years; 53% of 25 – 44 years; and 59% of 45 – 64 years)
  • Research shows that younger donors are more likely than older to donate to charities supporting physical or mental healthcare; 20% of 16-24s. 
  • Nearly £1 in every £5 donated in the UK goes to religious organisations.

Individual donations or sponsorship can come in a variety of forms, including one off donations, regular giving, major donations, leaving a gift in a will, cashback schemes through online shopping and Crowdfunding. Usually, this income will be classed as unrestricted, so can be used to support core running costs, including salaries, or to support the general charitable work of the organisation.

An important thing to consider when planning your fundraising is the capacity of your organisation. Fundraising activities and supporter engagement can take up a signification amount of time and resources, so it’s important that you consider the implications of different activities in relation to the staff and volunteer time you have available, along with the potential amount of funding that could be raised.  It is also critical to review who could contribute to your fundraising efforts and identify opportunities with Trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters.    

It is important to make donating as easy as possible for your supporters, covering all routes that a donor might like to give, from coins in a collection box and sponsorship options, to online donations.  Review how your organisation operates and the different levels of presence your work has, to identify opportunities to encourage support.

Helpful Links

Fundraising Regulator - Code of Fundraising Practice

Chartered Institute of Fundraising -Trustees and Fundraising Handbook

Chartered Institute of Fundraising - Connecting people to causes: A Practical Guide to Fundraising Research

Chartered Institute of Fundraising - Face-to-face fundraising

Chartered Institute of Fundraising - Accepting, refusing and returning donations