Top Charitable Causes in the UK: Animal Welfare, Children and Young People, Medical Research, and More

In 2022, animal welfare was the most popular charitable cause for donations in the UK, followed by the children and young people charities.

Although it was the most popular cause, religious organisations take the top spot when it comes to highest average donations, which was £92.

17% of respondents said that they were considering lowering their charitable donations due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Charitable giving is a cornerstone of community support and societal betterment, reflecting the generosity and empathy of individuals. This act of selfless contribution aids in addressing societal challenges and cultivates a sense of empathy and understanding, fostering a culture of kindness and solidarity within communities.
Researchers from analysed the newest report published by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), which surveyed adults aged 16 and above who have contributed to charitable organisations in the previous four weeks and revealed the most popular causes that have captured public support. Unfortunately, many people were and currently are unable to set apart means for charity due to their own circumstances, and 17% of respondents said that they were considering making cuts to their charitable donations in order to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.
Donating money to charity was the most common way Britons got involved in charitable activities, as 54% of the surveyed people had donated money to charity in the past year, while 51% said that they had donated goods to charities.
Although animal welfare was the most common cause donated to, religious charities received the highest average donations (£92), and they
 also received the largest proportion of total donations (14%), the same as overseas aid and disaster relief. Animal welfare follows with 10%.
Full data available HERE.





Animal welfare



Children and young people



Medical research; Overseas aid and disaster relief



Food banks



Homeless people, housing and refugee shelters; Hospitals and hospices






Other causes



Religious organisations



Disabled people



Physical and mental health care


1. Animal Welfare (28%)
In our interconnected world, the well-being of our furry companions remains a significant concern for a considerable portion of charitable donors. From protecting endangered species to providing care for abandoned animals, the support for animal welfare causes is the most donated cause for the third year in a row.
2. Children and Young People (23%)
Nurturing the growth and development of the younger generation stands as a shared priority among philanthropic endeavours. With a dedicated focus on fostering education, well-being, and opportunities for children and young people, charitable support signifies a collective investment in shaping a brighter and more equitable future for generations to come.
3. Medical Research; Overseas Aid and Disaster Relief (21%)
The dual commitment to advancing medical research and extending aid to regions grappling with disasters demonstrates a global consciousness that transcends borders. The support directed toward medical research initiatives highlights the recognition of its potential to revolutionise healthcare, while contributions to overseas aid and disaster relief underscore the imperative of standing in solidarity with communities impacted by unforeseen adversities.
4. Food Banks (17%)
Addressing the pressing issue of food insecurity within local communities remains a key focus for a significant portion of charitable donors. The support directed towards food banks signifies a commitment to ensuring that basic sustenance is accessible to all, emphasising the pivotal role that adequate nutrition plays in fostering the stability and well-being of vulnerable populations.
5. Homeless People, Housing, and Refugee Shelters; Hospitals and Hospices (16%)
Providing shelter and support for homeless individuals and refugees, as well as ensuring access to quality healthcare, remains a critical concern for charitable givers. The emphasis on creating safe spaces and fostering well-being for the most vulnerable members of society underscores the recognition of the fundamental right to dignity and care for all individuals, irrespective of their circumstances.
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