The new state of donation: Three decades of household giving to charity 1978 – 2008

This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the main trends in giving to charity over the last three decades using data from the government's Living Costs and Food survey. The report is about giving among the general household population - it excludes major donors since they are not captured by the survey.

The survey gives reliable, consistent information on chartiable giving over a long period of time , allowing us to examine the main trends in giving, as well as detailed information on household member characteristics that can shed light on the drivers of change.

The key questions addressed are:

  • What proportion of households give to charity and how much do they give and how have participation and generosity changed over the period?
  • What are the main economic and social factors that affect giving?
  • What messages for future giving can be learned from a study of long-term trends and the factors which might influence them?

This report updates and builds on an earlier analysis of giving using the same data source over the period 1974-1996.

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