R.F.S. Pt 17: A positive outlook

 In response to a January 6th Guardian Article “Give and Take” which suggested that community schemes bankrolled by big city firms would be facing the chop, Cathy Pharoah and Beth Breeze are letting us know that even though there is less money around people are still supporting charities.  

While the two don’t support their view with any real hard data they are well positioned to make their commentary as Professor Cathy Pharoah is a director and Beth Breeze a researcher at the ESRC Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy

Here is some of what they had to say:

The credit crunch is far from pushing British charitable giving into freefall, evidence of any collapse in donations remains thin, and there are signs that the philanthropic impulse remains robust.

The NCVO/CAF Individual Giving survey estimates that the British public donated £10.6bn in 2007-08, up 8% on the previous year; last autumn’s BBC Children in Need appeal raised its highest-ever total of £21m in one day; and newly published accounts show increases in corporate charitable activities in 2008.

Donors may have less money to spend, but all spending decisions are questions of priorities and they may not automatically tighten their altruistic belts first.

Charities can help themselves by demonstrating that contributions are both needed and having a measurable impact. Lapsed donors rarely claim they couldn’t afford to carry on giving, but they often say they lost faith in the effectiveness of their giving.

Reports of dramatic falls in charitable giving are overblown and potentially self-fulfilling. People are able to make careful decisions about where their money is best spent, and fatalistic claims may only serve to undermine confidence and deepen any recessionary impact on giving – just at a time when charities’ services are particularly needed.

Read the full article here

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