Sunday 25 February 2018

Restoration of trust key to halting 50pc slide in donations to charitable causes

Charities are suffering declining income
Charities are suffering declining income

Gerard O'Neill

Have you given money to charity recently? Or has the recent news about the Central Remedial Clinic, Rehab etc caused you to hesitate? If it has, you are not alone. In fact, a recent survey by Amarach shows that six in 10 adults in Ireland have changed how they think about charities because of the news about the CRC and other charities. More worrying is the fact that over 50pc say the recent news has changed their willingness to donate to charities at all.

Of course, we Irish are a generous lot when it comes to supporting charities, so maybe a little slippage is of no consequence? Then again, maybe not. Back in 2005, the average Irish man or woman typically donated €15 a month to different charities by various means (street collections, standing orders etc). Fast forward nine years and a recession later and that average has fallen to €10 a month. Though that only includes those who give to charities. In 2005, just one in 10 adults in an Amarach survey said they don't give to charity. Today, that number stands at one in four adults. It seems the recession has hurt Irish generosity and not just the economy.

Some things haven't changed, however. Fewer men give to charity than women – just like in 2005. However, among donors, men give more on average than women – also like in 2005. Over 55s are still the most generous age group when it comes to supporting charities (over €12 a month on average), and Dubliners are among the most generous regionally (€13 a month).

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