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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Who gives to which charity?

Published: 10 March 2008 Origin:  Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

Significant trends in charitable giving that may help charities better identify future donors have been revealed by Professor John Micklewright and Dr Sylke Schnepf.

Their ESRC-funded research indicates a pattern in people's choices of charities to support, suggesting that those giving to one charity may be more likely also to give to another charity. For example, they found that those giving to medical research are more likely also to give to overseas development than the average person. This pattern holds for other charitable causes, suggesting that charities seeking to raise more money would do well to target existing donors of other charities.

Professor Micklewright said: 'Many people's views of charitable giving are based on anecdote or on their own personal experiences. This is natural since most of us do give to charities. But it is essential that debate on the future of charitable giving is based on the facts, and the survey data we use go a long way towards uncovering the true patterns of giving.'

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