4 pandemic charity trends we don’t think are going anywhere

The past two years have highlighted the incredible generosity of the UK. Despite 44% of people experiencing money worries, £11.3 billion was donated to charities in 2020, up from £10.6 billion in 2019. During hard times, it was great to see people coming together.

 

But life was very different. Charity shops were closed, money was tight, and there were restrictions on what we could do. Naturally, this influenced people’s ability to donate to the causes they care about.

 

As a result, some significant trends in charitable giving emerged during 2020/21 that we believe are going to continue influencing giving for years to come. Here are the 4 big charity trends we think aren’t going anywhere any time soon…

 

Cash donations are down

Fewer in-person interactions made a significant impact on cash donations. In 2019, 51% of donors made a cash donation. In 2020, this fell to just 38%. Similarly, only 7% of donors used cash in January 2021 – compared to the 30-40% expected in a typical January. 

 

In the absence of cash donations, there’s been a rise in contactless, card, and online payments. And this is a trend that continued throughout 2021, suggesting the convenience and simplicity of alternative payments may become the new normal for donors.

 

The great part about donations through an app or website is that they allow charities to reach new audiences. They’re also more accessible for disabled people who can’t come into a store. We think a blended approach of cash and cashless donations moving forward could be a very good change for the sector.

 

Fewer people are donating

Financial uncertainty meant we saw lower donation levels than average in 20215% of people say they stopped a regular payment to charity because of financial concerns. It makes sense. If money is tight, charitable donations are often quick to be dropped. 

 

And even though job insecurity has eased post-pandemic, inflation and cost of living are on the rise. People are worrying about money again and this will no doubt continue to influence their willingness to donate. It’s not all bad news though. If they can’t donate financially, some donors may opt for donating their unused items instead.

 

Financial donations are bigger

While fewer people are giving money to charity, the donations being made are larger. The average monthly donation was higher for most of 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. While the average monthly donation in 2019 was £42, the average for January to June 2021 was £49.

 

One explanation for this is the increase in online donations. Not limited by the cash they have to hand, donors are free to donate larger amounts. The convenience also makes it easier for charities to encourage larger donations rather than a simple round-up on the till.

 

Gift Aid is up

It’s all too easy to miss out on critical revenue from Gift Aid. But Gift Aid use has been on the rise during the pandemic. Reaching 51% in 2018, 53% in 2019, and 55% in 2020, it’s been a brilliant upwards trend. And, in 2021, an impressive 61% of donors reported using Gift Aid, the largest figure recorded to date.

 

Is this in part due to a greater awareness of it? Or is technology making it easier to claim? The latter certainly helps, so going forward, it will be key to have an easy Gift Aid sign-up process built into your EPoS system.

 

There’s no end to the ways the pandemic has affected the charity sector – for better and for worse. But the kindness of the UK continues to shine through. While charity trends looking slightly different than it did pre-pandemic, there’s still so many people looking for ways to give back. 

 

CHARiotWeb helps your charity adapt to the times. With a streamlined Gift Aid process, online sales compatibility, and integrated lottery functionality, it’s never been easier to adapt to changing charity trends. To find out more, get in touch on 01204 706 000.