Book a Demo

The Good Will of Giving: measuring the impact of charities

December 19, 2022

Charities across the UK doing good

As part of our series on charitable giving during a recession, we want to take a moment to remind ourselves of the value of charities in our society.

By reflecting on the impact of the Third Sector, and the way people give, we believe organisations can be better prepared for the challenges that lie ahead.

What are we talking about here?

A Charity in English law is an organisation established for charitable purposes only, for public benefit.

There are around 183,000 charities in England and Wales, with 25,000 in Scotland and just over 7,500 in Northern Ireland, based on the various Charity Commission statistics across our UK countries.


People gave £11.3 billion to charity in the UK in 2020, and the average monthly donation in 2021 was £49 according to the 2021 UK Giving Report from CAF.


Who gives to what causes & how much do they give?

There's plenty of good will for giving across UK society, across a variety of interests and causes.

  • Religious groups receive the largest donations and gained the highest proportion of the total donations made during 2021.
  • Sports and Recreation and the Arts sector saw their average donations fall in recent years, while overseas aid relief has increased its average, according to CAF's 2022 UK Giving Report.


Cause Average Donation Amount Proportion of Total Donations Received
Religious Organisations £80 17%
Arts £36 2%
Schools Universities and Colleges £36 2%
Overseas Aid & Disaster Relief £34 11%
Sports and Recreation £27 1%
Hospitals and Hospices £24 8%
Source: UK Giving Report CAF 2022 


What's happening to giving now?

Despite a growth in giving during the Covid-19 pandemic and a peak driven by the war in Ukraine in March 2022, levels of giving have been declining.

We can relate much of this to the pressures on peoples' income driven by the growing economic crises being felt across the UK.

  Read More What happens to Fundraising during a Recession?

Sponsorship and Donations have fallen across gender, age and regional groupings according to CAF too.

Fewer young people give to charity, but it's good to see that with large-scale sponsorship events, such as the London Marathon has reported at 43% year on year rise this year, for about 1700 charities. Peoples' capacity to give is resilient!


Cost of living infographicsCost of living infographics2


What impact do charities have?

The value of charity is multiple. It's relatively easy to understand the impact of manufacturing on society, according to the Charity Commission's research. Their Value of Charity report also encourages politicians, businesses and policy makers to acknowledge the importance of charities in what they deliver, as well as their impact on social cohesion, individual wellbeing and engagement.

The largest sector of activity across charities are in social services, culture and recreation. Most organisations are small, and most depend on volunteers to deliver their services.

Charities form an integral and increasingly important place in the UK society, and oftentimes take the place of traditional public services like cancer research, contributing over £15bn in GDP and 900,000 jobs back in 2018, based on NCVO statistics.

Charities provide services in demand across society.

The value created by volunteers and group participants won't be immediately visible in income and impact assessments - the indirect or Social value to others in a community. 


Tackling the Funding Crisis through innovation

The recession's effect on fundraising, means a Funding Gap for many.
A combination of increased demand on services, plus a potential decline in fundraising income is a difficult situation to tackle.

We review the solutions and tools available to charities in our next article in this series, coming soon.

  Read More What happens to Fundraising during a Recession?

  Sign Up for GWD news Get our next article when it's published straight to your inbox

Banner with Ebook download link and message saying 'get more from digital fundraising for your charity'

Helping organisations transition to digital systems

Get in touch to ask us how GWD can help improve your organisation with purposeful products and services.

Topics from this blog: Digital Fundraising Helping charities Recession Cost of Living Tech for Good Good Will


We help socially-minded organisations transition to digital systems, building stronger relationships through impactful products and services.

Book a Demo

Who are GWD?

We help socially-minded organisations transition to digital systems, building stronger relationships through impactful products and services.

Our experience goes back two decades, with a foundation building and providing critical digital services and products for the financial services and retail industries.

With a long-proven ability to handle challenging projects and a team of trusted experts, we work hard to solve problems and deliver change that helps others.

Sign up for our newsletter