Scots more generous than the UK as a whole says report

SNPs Growth Commission are expected to propose the creation of a Scottish pound. Picture: John Devlin
SNPs Growth Commission are expected to propose the creation of a Scottish pound. Picture: John Devlin

Scots are more generous than the UK as a whole according to the first annual CAF Scotland Giving report, a major new survey outlining how Scots support charities across the country.

The report, published by the Charities Aid Foundation, one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations, is based on a monthly tracking survey by leading opinion research firm YouGov.

It found that Scots are more likely to donate money to charity in the past year than people across the UK (65% vs 61%), volunteer their time (19% vs 17%), donate goods to charity (58% vs 56%), and sponsor a friend or colleague (40% vs 37%).

Overall, the survey found people living in Scotland donated £813 million to charity in 2016. This represents 8.4% of the £9.7 billion donated to charity across the UK with Scotland accounting for 8.2% of the population.

The report also shows that young people in Scotland are more engaged with charity than the UK as a whole: 94% of 16-24 year olds reported they had done some form of charitable activity in the preceding year, significantly higher than the UK average which stands at 89%.

Key findings from the report:

· Around one in five Scots volunteered their time during the past year

· Nearly 60% had given goods to a charity shop or other good cause

· More than half had signed a petition

· Medical research was the most popular cause, followed by animal welfare, children and young people and disaster relief

Commenting on the report Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:

“This important new research confirms that Scots are incredibly generous and dedicated to supporting the causes they care about.

“However you look at it, Scotland performs incredibly well and this shows the amazing culture of giving we have here in Scotland, of which we should all be very proud.

“What is particularly encouraging is the level of 16-24 year olds who are engaged in charitable activity in Scotland – this bodes well for the future.

”We believe this report is the first of its kind, and we hope it will help build the amazing vibrant culture of charities in Scotland and help them expand the excellent work which supports so many people across the country.”

Commenting, Chief Executive of SCVO, Martin Sime said:

“SCVO and our members welcome this first ever CAF Scotland Giving Report. It’s always valuable to understand public attitudes and behaviours towards charities, especially when many third sector organisations rely on the generosity of the public.

“Through our own work over the years we’ve had a strong sense that people in Scotland are very supportive of charities, and it’s encouraging that in a number of areas this new research shows the picture is indeed somewhat rosier in Scotland than in the rest of the UK – for example in volunteering, and donations.

“This is invaluable research, and we look forward to gathering even more information in the future and using the insight this provides to both improve trust in charities and increase all kinds of charitable giving in Scotland.”

The Charities Aid Foundation is the global leader in measuring generosity and publishes a number of landmark reports annually: the CAF World Giving Index interviews more than 146,000 people in 139 countries, compiling a global ranking of generosity; whilst the UK Giving Report is the most comprehensive study of domestic generosity, interviewing 12,000 people annually.

We aim to make the report, entitled CAF Scotland Giving an annual event in the Scottish charity calendar. It is being launched this evening at a reception at Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth. Panellists at the event will include SCVO, Cancer Research UK and Shelter Scotland.