Income from individuals overview
Income from individuals increased in 2013/14
- Income from individuals increased by just over £1bn between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
- Income from individuals is now at its highest ever level, after adjusting for inflation (RPIX). Although there have been occasional fluctuations in the overall pattern of increase (for example, peaks in 2003/04 and 2006/07 were followed by small decreases in the next year or two years), there is a strong underlying upward trend.
Income from individuals breakdown
Income from individuals provides the largest proportion of income for every size of organisation
- Income from individuals makes up a similar share of overall income for medium to super-major organisations (43%-44%) whilst it makes up a much larger share for small and micro organisations (56% and 70% respectively).
There is considerable variation by subsector in the proportion of income received from individuals
- The sub-sector breakdown presented in the Almanac is based on the International Classification of Non-profit Organisations (ICNPO).
- In some sub-sectors organisations are particularly dependent on income from individuals: for instance, income from individuals provides two-thirds of the income for environmental and religious organisations (both 67%) and just under two-thirds for scout groups and youth clubs (64%), Parent Teacher Associations and village halls (61%).
Earned income from individuals
More individual earned income comes from charitable activities than from activities for generating funds
Earned income from individuals is made up of income earned through ‘charitable activities’ such as rent for accommodation, fees for adult social care, training course fees, admission charges and membership subscriptions, and ‘activities for generating funds’, for example the sale of donated goods in charity shops and admission fees for fundraising events.
- Earned income from individuals accounted for more than two-fifths of the sector’s overall earned income (41%). Of the £10bn of earned income from individuals, three-fifths (£6bn) came from charitable trading.
Donations provide the largest share of the income that voluntary organisations receive from individuals
- Voluntary organisations received £9.4bn from individual donations and legacies. In 2013/14 donations from individuals generated £7.2bn, accounting for 37% of all individual income and 16% of total income. These proportions were comparable to 2012/13.
An alternative source of information about charitable donations is large-scale surveys of individuals’ charitable giving behaviour, in particular the CAF UK Giving survey and the Cabinet Office’s Community Life Survey.
- The latest CAF survey report calculates that £10.6bn was donated to charity by adults in 2014.
- Although 2013/14 Almanac data estimated individual donations at £7.2bn, this figure does not include activities for generating funds, which accounted for £4bn of income from individuals, altogether making £11.2bn.
- However, there are a number of reasons why the estimates from the Almanac and the CAF Giving Survey may differ, so it is difficult to assess which figure most accurately represents the overall level of charitable giving. Both estimates, however, demonstrate the scale of charitable giving and its importance to organisations in the voluntary sector.
Charitable giving is widespread but varies according to demographics
- In the 2014 CAF survey, the proportion of people reporting giving money to charitable causes in a typical month was 44%. A direct comparison cannot be made with previous years, since the survey methodology was changed for 2014.
- Over the previous 12 months, 70% of respondents reported donating to charitable causes. In the Community Life 2014/15 survey, a higher proportion of people (75%) reported giving in the month prior to interview; this was the same proportion as in 2013/14.
- The 2014 CAF survey report ascribes this difference to the fact that that the Community Life survey includes some donations not explicitly covered by the CAF survey (e.g. giving to people begging on the street) and also does not include an initial screening question.
- Patterns of charitable giving by gender, age and social grade have been more consistent between the two surveys and through time.
- Women are more likely than men to make charitable donations; in the 2014 CAF survey, 43% of women reported giving money compared with 38% of men.
- Only 26% of younger people (aged 16-24) reported donating money in 2014 compared to 44% and 48% of older people (aged 45-64, and 65 or more respectively).
- People in managerial and professional occupation groups were most likely to donate money (57% in 2014) compared with those in intermediate and in routine and manual occupation groups.
Donations worth £1m or more have increased in value, to £1.56bn
- The Coutts survey is a separate survey that focuses on donations worth £1m or more. The latest report found that in 2014 whilst the number of million pound donations remained similar (298 in 2014 compared with 292 in 2013), the total value of such charitable donations had increased to £1.56bn, compared with £1.36bn in 2013.
- Just over half of this £200m rise was the result of a single gift of £105m (from Hillside (New Media) Limited, to establish the Bet365 Foundation).
- In 2014 two-thirds of all donation went to higher education and charitable trusts and foundations, the latter accounting for the highest proportion (36%).This may be due to an increase in corporate donors, who tend to donate to their associated foundations, as well as a decrease in donations given by foundations, of which HEIs are a common recipient.
Only a small proportion of organisations receive legacy income
- Legacies, which can be defined as ‘an amount of money or property left to someone in a will’, totalled £2.17bn in 2013/14, accounting for 10% of income from individuals and 5% of total income, similar proportions to previous years.
- This represents a rise of over £150m to the sector from legacies from 2012/13.
- Over the last decade, legacy income to the sector has fluctuated in real terms between £1.9bn and £2.5bn, the latter peak value occurring in 2007/08.
- Gift aid repayments to charities reached £1.1bn in 2013/14, an increase on the previous year (£1.03bn); these repayments have increased steadily since 2009/10, although note they are not adjusted for inflation.
- HMRC estimatessuggest that around 67,000 charities claimed gift aid, although this definition of charity goes beyond just registered charities in England and Wales. Note that the totals do not include the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme as it represents public expenditure.
- UK Giving 2014, CAF, April 2015
- The accounts information relates only to registered charities and excludes organisations in the wider civil society, which individuals might include in their reported giving. The amounts classified as ‘donations’ in the accounts are correctly included; it is more debatable whether the amounts classified as ‘fundraising’ should (all) be included. In the survey of individuals, there is sampling error around both the proportion of people reporting giving and the amounts reported. Both measures are also susceptible to social desirability error and recall error, the latter particularly likely for occur for the amounts given.
- Community Life Survey 2014-2015 Statistical Bulletin, Cabinet Office, July 2015
- 2015 Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report
- The Coutts report does not adjust previous years’ figures for inflation
- Both 2012/13 and 2013/14 figures are revised and provisional
- UK charity tax relief statistics commentary: 1990 to 2015