Top 3 charitable causes in the UK
2016 saw donations to charity totalling £9.7 billion in the UK. The top 3 causes to donate to in a snapshot over 4 weeks were:
- medical research 26%
- animal welfare 25%
- children or young people 24%
The top three causes in other countries
- Children and young people 22%
- Women and girls 16%
- Education 11%
- Children and young people 18%
- Education 18%
- Women and girls 12%
Australia and Oceania
- Children and young people 20%
- Health and Safety 13%
- Animals 11%
- Children and young people 15%
- Human and civil rights 13%
- International development 11%
- Religious services and faith 12%
- Children and young people 11%
- Human services 11%
- Children and young people 26%
- Education 15%
- Health and safety 11%
Only in the UK (2nd) and Australia/Oceania (3rd) do animals make the top three.
In 5 countries children and young people are the top charitable cause – coming 2nd in North America and 3rd in the UK.
The UK donates more to animals (25%) than 5 countries give to their top cause – only South America gives more (26%) to children and young people.
Why do we give to charity?
From research by CAF the top 4 reasons for donating to charity were:
- Personal values, ethics and morality
- Identifying with a specific cause/feeling passionate about a cause.
- Religious values and faith.
- Personal experience
What does this say about the UK?
Do you know, I’m not sure. I just think it’s strange that we are more willing to donate our money to animal charities than to children/young people, homelessness/housing/refuge shelters, education or hospitals/hospices. I’m guilty of this too, but I’m not sure why.
Thousands of people adopt an animal each year in the UK, I wonder how many people would be willing to adopt a homeless person? Give them the chance to get clean and warm. Or give someone refuge from a violent relationship? Not many right.
Is it the cost? Probably not, animals are not cheap to feed and care for and once they have an address the person will probably be eligible for some benefits until they can find a job.
Is it the mess? Again probably not, not wishing to generalise but some people don’t seem to mind letting a pet jump on the furniture or even sleep in their bed.
Is it because we judge homeless people? I believe this is part of it, yes. How many of you have seen a homeless person on the street and crossed over to avoid them? Commented about how they should get a job? Or thought to yourself, I’m not giving them money as they will just spend it on booze? Quite a few of you, right? I know I have in the past.
What’s the solution?
People are dying alone on the streets in the UK, a quick Google search suggested 440 people died last year (2017) and that there are around 250,000 homeless people and the number is growing. Is that a statistic to be proud of? People are very quick to tell you they have rescued an animal and expect praise as if they have single handedly solved world poverty.
I have yet to meet anybody who boasts about giving a person a home. These people are out there, they just don’t boast about it. We need to raise awareness of the problems, convince people to let someone use their spare rooms.
Why do people end up on the streets? So many reasons but, mental health problems and marriage/family breakdowns must rank quite highly. Local councils are having to cut back spending across the board. This obviously impacts on the services they are able to provide, mental health provision for example. The Government must reverse these cutbacks and put the money where it is most needed. Is it ethical to cut funding which results in a person living on the streets? Is it even legal?
The Government are very good at distracting people from the real problems, they will bring our attention to what they want us to know and cover up things they don’t want us to know – the job of the spin doctors. They may be saving money in the short term but in the long term things are going to get worse and they will not take the blame. They will blame previous governments for problems they have inherited, they will bring our attention to the money they have made available for something else but not accept blame.
I think it’s time we did something about this.
What do you think?
Please comment below and let me know your thoughts, between us there is a solution.
Thank you for reading.
All information found @ www.givingreport.ngo and www.cafonline.org and used for criticism and reporting only. All information correct to the best of my knowledge. All graphs made by Justin.