One in four charity 'zero givers'
One in four people in Britain give little or nothing to charity, new research has revealed.
A report by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which promotes charitable giving and provides financial services to not-for-profit organisations, has highlighted a gulf in society between those who do the most for good causes and those who make a minimal contribution.
The foundation said that just 9% of people give 66% of the overall time and money donated to charities - a group the organisation described as the country's "civic core".
Just over two thirds, 67%, are in the "middle ground" of giving, accounting for the remaining 34% of charitable activity. But some 24% do little or nothing for charity - and are branded by the CAF as "zero givers".
The report, published ahead of the party conference season, aims to spark a debate about ways to make Britain a more generous society.
John Low, chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation, said: "This report raises serious questions about the nature of society in 21st century Britain. Britain is one of the most charitable countries in the world, yet this research shows a stark divide in society between those who do the most for good causes and those who do little if anything at all. It is a worrying fact that nearly one in four people do very little if anything to support charities which are at the forefront of civil society."
The findings also lay bare the differences in attitudes between the most and least charitable groups of people in the country. According to the survey, 90% of the most charitable group say "hello" to people in the street, compared with 64% of the "zero givers". More than half - 51% - of the "civic core" say most of their friends are involved in social causes, compared with just 7% of "zero givers".
Attitudes to voting were shown to be in line with charitable giving, as 91% of the most giving group said it was important for people to vote, compared with 73% of "zero givers".
The report, based on a survey of 2,027 UK adults by polling organisation ComRes, also revealed that people volunteering their time is the major difference between Britain's most generous group and other parts of society. People in the "civic core" were more likely to be women than other groups, to be living in their own home and are most likely to have professional or managerial jobs. A third of the most generous were over 65 (an average of 33 %).
Dr Low added: "Charities, Government and businesses can all encourage people to discover how rewarding it is to support the causes we all care about. At a time of ever-increasing demand for the support charities provide, all of us who stand behind these amazing organisations must rally round to ensure Britain remains an ever more generous society of which we can be truly proud."