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Q: Percentage of personal salary to give to charity (UK) ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Percentage of personal salary to give to charity (UK)
Category: Business and Money > Economics
Asked by: jamessiddle-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 15 Jan 2006 03:52 PST
Expires: 14 Feb 2006 03:52 PST
Question ID: 433612
My question has two parts:

1) What is the average percentage of personal salary (or income) given to
charity in the UK?

2) What percentage(s) of personal salary is it recommended to give to
charity in the UK by the key charitable organisations / bodies?

I'm trying to work out how much people give to charity, on average, in
the UK, as well as to work out how much it is recommended that you
should give to charity.

A suitable answer to the second part would be from a group such as the
CAF, but government bodies would also be OK.
Subject: Re: Percentage of personal salary to give to charity (UK)
Answered By: leli-ga on 16 Jan 2006 13:29 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello James

The short answers are:

1) About 0.8% of income.

2) The Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, the Institute
of Philanthropy and The Giving Campaign have suggested giving 1.5% of
one's income to charity.

You'll see the information I've collected below. When you've had a
chance to look through the material, please don't hesitate to ask if
anything is unclear.

Best wishes - Leli

Mean weekly income in the UK in 2003/4 was 408 = 21216 p.a.
(Page 11)

The CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) says, "The average annual donation
per UK adult for 2004/05 was 170.02."

This suggests an average donation of about 0.8% of annual income.

It isn't ideal using figures from different years, but I don't think
the Department of Work and Pensions have published income statistics
yet for 2004/5. If the annual increase in income was the same as
between 2002/3 and 2003/4 this might change the figure from 0.8% to

" . . . amongst households who donate, the poorest fifth, who cannot
really afford it, give on average 3% of their household expenditure
while the richest 20%, who can afford it, give only 0.7%.
(From page 33 of ?A Lot of Give? ? trends in
charitable giving for the 21st century?,
written by Catherine Walker & Cathy Pharoah, 
published by Hodder and Stoughton, 2002)"

The Institute of Philanthropy uses 0.7% in its "giving calculator".

For example, it says:

"The average person in Britain, on an income of 30,000, donates
210.00 a year (0.7% of their income).
If you were to give away 1.5% of your income, as suggested by The
Giving Campaign, then you could donate 450.00 each year."

This suggested figure of 1.5% of income is sometimes increased for
those on 100,000 or more. The Giving Campaign suggests 2% for people
at this level, and 3% for people with an annual income of 500,000.
"We suggest a benchmark for giving of 1.5% of income on average with
the percentage for the better-off going upwards according to their
income and wealth and going down for those who cannot afford it."
See "A Blueprint for Giving":

("The Giving Campaign (July 2001 - June 2004) was an independent,
National campaign supported by the voluntary sector and the

"I think it is realistic for us in the UK for donors to aspire to
contribute 1.5% of average income to charity."
Stephen Ainger, Chief Executive of CAF

"People belonging to faith groups are able to base their giving around
a norm well understood in their community. For example, the Church of
England recommends that its congregation tithe, giving 5% of their
income to the Church and 5% to other good causes.
Secular society does not provide a norm and it is clear that many
donors wishing to give have no idea of what is a reasonable amount to
give. What wealthy people in particular tend to do is to apply
absolute amounts when giving, rather than relate their donations to
their income and wealth. As a result, they are normally far less
generous than poorer people when their giving is expressed as a
percentage of their income."

The CAF say individual donations to charity represent 0.9% of GDP.
(Page 2)

"The percentage of individual giving to GDP is more than double in the
US compared to the UK ? in the US, $183.7bn (104.6bn) was donated in
2002, 1.75% of GDP compared to 7.3bn, or 0.76% of GDP in the UK."

"The average American gives 3.2 per cent of his or her income to
charity ? here, the average is 0.7 per cent."

Survey of charitable giving 2004/5:
 . . . around three-fifths of the population [give] to charity
per month, and the value of donations [is] 0.9% of GDP
 . . . 
? The average annual donation per UK adult for 2004/05 was
? But not everyone gives to charity: the average amount
donated by each person who actually gave was 297.10.
? In 2004/05 57.2% of UK adults gave to charity in an average
? The average monthly amount given per person was 14.17.
This equates to 24.97 per donor.

The average monthly donation in 2003 was 12.32.

Who are the Givers?
The BSA [British Social Attitudes Survey] data found that nearly a
third of the population (30%) are essentially non-givers; these are
people who report
giving less than 5 to charity per year, most of whom give
nothing.We term these people bystanders as they are
often aware of need but make no contribution to meeting it.
The majority of respondents (58%) are casual givers who
we term contributors.These are people who give between
5 and 120 to charity per year.They are likely to give
infrequently; nearly two-thirds give less often than once a
month.They are also far more likely to give donations when
asked than to give by direct debit; only a quarter of them give
to charity by this regular and usually tax-efficient method.
The last group of givers are committed givers who give
120 or more to charity per year and who we term
investors.Almost one in eight of the population is in this
category, and nearly a quarter of them give over 500 to
charity per year. In contrast to the casual givers, they give
frequently with over three-quarters giving at least once a
month, and over a quarter giving once a week or more.


    * 7.1 billion was given to charity during 2003 by individuals.
    * 70 per cent of the UK population donates to charities, but fewer
than one in five people leave a legacy.
    * 70.7 per cent of women donated to charity in 2003, compared to
60.1 per cent of men. They also tended to make larger donations.
    * Less than one in twenty people give more than 50 to charity
each month, but these donations account for over half of the money

The charitable giving of UK households has been changing considerably over the
past 20 years.

Search strategy:
Exploring the CAF website
Following links from the Institute of Philanthropy website
Searching the DWP site for income statistics
jamessiddle-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks - sorry for the delay in giving a rating, I just arrived back from holiday.

Subject: Re: Percentage of personal salary to give to charity (UK)
From: thepiman-ga on 10 Apr 2006 16:31 PDT
The old testament encourages people to give 10% of the income to
Tzedakah or Charity. I doubt many followers of the old testament do
(whether Jewish or Christian). Perhaps we could aim for 10% of our
gross salaries.

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