Charitable Organisations are Under Estimating the Spending Power of the Christian Community

The Christian Opinion Panel ‘Giving Survey’ shows that Christians are more likely to donate than others in the UK

It’s a tough time for fundraising. A crowded sector with increased regulation, a skills shortage, cuts to traditional funding streams and countless good causes fighting for donations. These challenges come against the backdrop of economic and technological change.

Charitable organisations need to adapt to these new circumstances and find different ways to raise funds, reach new audiences and make it easier for them to donate.

In Winter 2017 TMH, a specialist marketing and media agency working across the world with faith and ethnic organisations, charities and social enterprises, commissioned their second report on UK Christians’ attitudes to charitable giving. It revealed that 87% of Christians regularly donate to charity. This is considerably higher than that of the whole UK population when comparing these figures to those released by CAF in 2017 – just 61% of their UK wide sample donated to charity*.

The report showed that nearly all those who donated to charity (92%) also gave to their church; with just under half donating at least once a week. Of the 13% of UK Christians who do not give to charity, 72% do donate to their church.

Supported Causes

Religious charities and those that support young people and the homeless were the most popular causes. Despite the popularity of these, Cancer Research was the best supported according to the findings.

Donating Methods

Over a third of participants donate regularly by direct debit with online donations at 19%. These were the preferred methods. However, almost two-thirds have donated online, which is an increase from the TMH 2015 report, and with digital being high on agendas and the ways users interact changing, this figure should rise further in later years. With potential donors keen to research how their money will be used, text has limitations and was not preferable with 59% of respondents never having donated in this way.

Mediums with Influence

A fifth (19%) of participants were made aware of the charities they support through TV advertising, followed by websites at 15%. Over 70% of participants watch seven hours of Christian TV per week.

Emma Tinsley, Managing Director at TMH said: “Christianity is the largest represented religion in the UK, according to the 2011 Census. And for Christians, giving to charity is part of their religion. For many charitable organisations it is an untapped audience and one which they struggle to effectively engage and connect with. Our experience and insight into the media habits and donating patterns of the UK Christian population shows that, with the right message through the right channel, charities and churches can successfully reach and engage with this large donor base.”

A Legacy Shouldn’t be a Mystery

Although UK Christians give regularly and generously to both charitable causes and their church. And, despite 79% of donors feeling engaged with those they support. Only 29% of them considered donating a percentage of their estate as a legacy gift upon their death. 17% of donors said they will not leave a legacy gift, and 54% said they were ‘unsure’ about leaving a legacy donation. Importantly, the survey also revealed that 58% of participants did not know how to leave a legacy gift.

Emma Tinsley added: “Legacy giving is a missed opportunity for charities. Charitable causes could benefit immeasurably by getting engaged donors to consider a charitable donation as a legacy gift. Through the right messaging, educational material and encouragement, charities can capture the imagination of donors, getting them to think about the donations they could give on their death through life insurance funds or sales from their estate. Using the most effective mediums for this purpose, such as Christian TV and websites, could make a big difference to the growth and survival of charitable organisations.”


About The Christian Opinion Panel ‘Giving Survey’

The Christian Opinion Panel ‘Giving Survey’ was made up of 546 UK Christians to deliver insight into their giving habits. The demographic breakdown and other key findings can be found in the report. Looking to find out more about how Christians donate to charities? Download The Christian Opinion Panel 2019 Survey for free now!

About TMH

TMH is a specialist marketing and media agency working across the world with faith and ethnic organisations, charities and social enterprises. We use our audience understanding and knowledge of specialist TV, radio, press, digital and outdoor channels to shape strategies and for more than 30 years our work has helped our clients to connect, build belief and maintain relationships, establishing meaningful communities nationally and internationally. Our clients include the Bible Society, Water Aid, Oxfam, Mind, NSPCC, Salvation Army, Compassion

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