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A generous public supporting medical research

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has published its annual UK Giving Report, which looks at charitable donations across the UK in 2014. The report estimates that £10.6 billion was donated by the UK public last year, an increase on 2012/13 levels, with 70% of people having donated at least once during 2014.

Key points

People have continued to increase the amount of money they donate to charity with an estimated £10.6bn of donations in 2014. Other findings include:

  • 44% of people reported giving to charity in a typical month.
  • Medical research continues to be the cause supported by the largest proportion of donors, followed by children’s charities
  • 70% of people reported they would be more likely to give to charity if they understood the impact of their donation.
  • People are most likely to donate to charity via cash donations and traditional means, although the inclusion of new technology based questions provides some insight into changes in giving behaviours with increasing popularity of apps and ‘smart’ technology.

A change in methodology

5,068 face-to-face interviews were carried out in December of 2014 to gain insight into giving habits during the course of the 2014 calendar year, unlike previous years, where figures were based on financial year reporting.

This move to a new methodology allows the report to provide more detailed analysis into the attitudes and behaviours of donors, such as contributions to public consultations and barriers to donating.

Why this is relevant to medical research charities

Although the proportion of donors giving to medical research charities fluctuates each year, it remains the UK’s favourite cause with 33% of donors choosing to donate to medical research in a typical month. 

With this in mind, and the reported need for people to understand how their money helps their chosen cause, the sector has a responsibility to demonstrate the impact these donations have for patients and the public.

AMRC members are doing some great work to understand how the research they fund helps patients, and translating this to meet the needs of such a generous UK public can only help to sustain the sector as their favourite cause.