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Research: Charitable giving influenced by wealthy's business sense

Wealthy people in the UK would donate more if charitable organisations could prove their impact more clearly, according to a study by New Philanthropy Capital.

Wealthy people in the UK would donate more if charitable organisations could prove their impact more clearly, according to a study by New Philanthropy Capital.

A report by the research and consultancy group found the wealthy were “less satisfied” with the information available to them to assess a charity’s effectiveness compared to those on lower incomes.

NPC surveyed 3,000 people across the UK for the study, called Money for Good UK. Respondents were classed as either "high-income" – those with a household income of more than £150,000 (€170,000), or "mainstream" – people on an income below this bracket.

In total, 54% of high-income donors said they would give more if charities could give clearer proof of their positive influence. Only 37% of mainstream donors would give more if they had this evidence.

Sally Bagwell, a consultant for NPC, told CampdenFB: "High-income donors may be more accustomed to researching their decisions, particularly financial decisions.

"We know from talking to NPC’s clients that those who come from business and financial backgrounds are often used to making decisions based on quality information, and they tend to look for charities to provide equivalent levels of information."

NPC said offering more data would provide charities with a "considerable opportunity to increase donations” – of those who said they would increase their giving, high-income donors would donate an average £603 extra a year, while mainstream donors would give an extra £155. This would amount to £665 million – an 11% increase in annual giving in the UK.

The findings echo US-based research published by asset management and technology firm SEI. It found high net worth individuals would give more if they were confident their donations were being used effectively. 

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