More than 8 out of 10 Irish adults plan to donate to charity this Christmas

30 November 2022 Press Releases

  • Women are more likely to donate than men, survey finds
  • Homeless or refugee services charities are most likely to be supported
  • 31% of people plan to donate unwanted gifts to charity
  • Charities Regulator urges people to donate with their head as well as their heart and check the Register of Charities first for a list of registered charities along with information on their finances and activities

More than 8 out of 10 Irish adults plan to make a donation to charity over the Christmas period.

A new survey undertaken on behalf of the Charities Regulator showed that 86% of Irish adults will definitely or probably make a charitable donation of money, time or goods during December, with only 14% indicating that they would not be doing so.

The survey also found that women are more likely to donate than their male counterparts, with a significant disparity in the attitudes of men and women towards charitable giving over the Christmas period.

Men represented 62% of those who don’t intend to make a charitable donation over Christmas, while women made up 38% of this group. The study also showed that 57% of women are committed charity donors compared to 43% of males.

“The good news for Irish charities is that despite increasing financial pressures in the wider economy, Irish people have a strong desire to make a charitable donation over the Christmas period,” according to Helen Martin, Chief Executive of the Charities Regulator.

Charities in Ireland must be registered and Ms Martin urged people to check the public Register of Charities first to ensure they are donating to a registered charity. The Register also provides details of a charity’s finances and activities.

“It is hugely heartening to see people’s generosity reflected in the results of this survey and that they intend to give to good causes in such large numbers,” Ms Martin said. “But we would again encourage donors to use their heads as well as their hearts this Christmas by checking the background and track record of the charitable organisation they intend to support.”

Almost half of those who indicated that they would probably donate to charity (49%) are still not sure which charity they will support this Christmas, so there is still time for individual charities to engage with the public and persuade them to donate to their cause.

The survey found that the key factors in deciding which charity to support were knowing that donations would be put to good use (82%), that the charity in question is clear and transparent (80%) and that the charity is registered (74%).  

“Public trust underpins Ireland’s charity sector of almost 11,500 organisations. Research consistently shows that there is a strong link between greater transparency and accountability by charities and public trust and confidence in them,” Ms Martin said. “It is therefore in every charity’s interest to keep their information up to date on the public Register of Charities by filing their annual report with the Charities Regulator,” she added.

Three quarters of those who will definitely or probably donate to charity over Christmas will give money, while just over one-third (36%) will give goods or services. Three in 10 people (31%) plan to donate unwanted gifts to charity, while one in five (21%) will donate their time to a charity. Only 2% were open to providing temporary accommodation this Christmas.

Charities supporting the homeless or refugee services will be the most supported, the survey found, followed by those supporting children or youth causes, and those working in the area of health and disability.

“Christmas is a very important time for Irish charities, as the tradition of supporting others at this time of year is deeply embedded within Irish society,” according to Ms Martin. “It is essential that we all make informed decisions about how we channel that goodwill to ensure that the charities we support are registered and are open and transparent in terms of their finances and their activities.”   

Those who are committed to donating to a charity this Christmas are typically guided by their previous experience. The survey found that almost four in ten (39%) of committed donors have donated to the charity previously, three in ten (31%) of them always donate to the same charity, and almost a quarter (24%) give to charities that have helped them or someone close to them.  

The Charities Regulator’s Christmas 2022 survey was conducted by Amárach Research and was based on a sample of 1,000 adults, with quotas set on gender, age, social class, and region to achieve a sample that is reflective of the State’s population.

What type of charity are you most likely to support this Christmas?

Homeless or refugee services

39%

Children or youth

32%

Health or disability

25%

Older people

20%

Animal rescue or welfare

20%

Overseas aid/disaster or war relief

14%

A mix of the above

26%

None of the above

1%

I haven’t decided yet

7%

 

Which of the following are you likely to give

Money

75%

Other goods and services

36%

Unwanted gifts

31%

Time

21%

Temporary accommodation

2%