Why we give - UK giving culture dissected 1 Apr 2014

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has produced a new report, Why We Give, which explores responses to the question of what inspires 700 larger donors to give – people who give thousands each year to good causes.

The most frequently cited reasons were values based: 97% said ‘my personal values’, 96% ‘my own sense of morality/ethics’, 75% ‘a specific belief about a particular cause’, 71% ‘faith’, 61% ‘effect of personal experiences’.  However when asked what measures might increase giving, return on investment was mentioned more frequently: 77% thought a better understanding of existing tax incentives would help and 76% would welcome more generous tax breaks.

CAF has simultaneously published a discussion paper, Give Me A Break, which argues that US style philanthropy will not translate easily into the UK culture.  They say that the US system is heavily slanted towards major giving by very wealthy philanthropists, where there is a strong social expectation that such people will give and a more positive attitude to wealth.  The UK by contrast has a more fragmented system, including Gift Aid which allows many smaller donors to give and an honours system which to some extent replaces major public giving as a mark of having attained public eminence.  Charities Aid FoundationArts ProfessionalCharities Aid Foundation (Give Me A Break report)