Religious People Donate More - UK study
24 February 2012 at 4:48 pm
Religious people donate more than twice the amount to charity than those without a faith, according to new research from the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) in the United Kingdom.
The figures, released this week, found that those who had religious beliefs gave an average amount of £576 (approximately A$844) to charity over the last twelve months, compared with the £235 (or A$344) average contribution of those who had no religious faith.
However, only 31 per cent of religious donors had given money to a religious activity.
The research also found that medical charities and overseas aid were the two most popular choices for both religious and non-religious donors.
The figures come from CAF's 2011 Market Tracker Report, which is not available publicly. It asked 507 donors giving at least £50 to charity a year a variety of questions about their charitable habits.
Director of Research at CAF Richard Harrison said that the results not only show that those of faith are more generous to charity in general, but that their giving is not uniquely focused on their own religious activities.
“If anything, people of faith broadly give in line with the rest of the general public – to a variety of different appeals,” Harrison said.
“The culture of giving within religious circles that is demonstrated by our survey is an admirable one, and a phenomenon that clearly enriches our society."
Only 21 per cent of those claiming to have religious beliefs agreed that they “had strong religious beliefs”.
However, Harrison said: “The survey shows that there is a link between associating with a religion and charitable behaviour, even when people aren’t actively practising their faith”.