Greater engagement a key factor in closing giving gap among UK Christians, finds report

A woman's hands in prayer on a Bible. By Reenablack on Pixabay.

There is a gap between what UK Christians currently give and what they could give, but the more engaged Christians are with their faith and the causes they support, the more this closes, according to new research.

The Stewardship Generosity Report 2024 reveals that Christians in the UK give an average of £73 each a month, which equates to 3.2% of their income after tax. This is across all causes, including their churches. The report also says that this is £8 more than the £65 per month people in the UK give to all charities (CAF’s UK Giving Report 2023).

The report breaks the £73 down to an average of £60 or 2.5% per month being given to Christian causes, and £14 (or 0.6%) to secular causes.

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However, the research found that regular church attendance more than double propensity to give, while engaged faith leads to engaged giving. Regular churchgoing more than doubles propensity to give, with Practising Christians – defined in the report as those who attend church and read their Bible at least once a month, tending to give an average of £167 a month or 6.3% of their income. The research found no clear correlation between frequency of prayer and giving, noting that most people, whatever their depth of faith, pray in some form.

Closing the gap

Stewardship also says in the report that if every Christian adopted the biblical principal of tithing (giving 10% of income – assumed in this report to be after tax), then the total amount being given to all causes each per month would rise to an average of £232.

It shows that building trust with regular, transparent communication that helps donors understand the tangible impact of their support is key to encouraging people to give more.

The research found that an appeal or personal approach triggers spontaneous giving, while those who trust the causes they support are likely to be more generous to all causes. People also feel more driven to give if they feel connected to a cause that can make a difference, and those who discuss their giving tend to give more.

Two key barriers to giving among Christians in the UK highlighted by the research are feeling unable to afford to give, and a lack of trust that donations will be used well.

In a blog on the report that also includes a list of resources, Stewardship’s Head of Customer Experience Lyndall McCarthy comments:

“We need to nurture and normalise a stronger culture of generosity culture based on transparent communication. One that builds trust by supporting and evidencing faithful stewardship of resources; one that makes talking about giving an everyday reality; and one that, above all gets people excited about the very real difference they can make to their chosen causes.”

Stewardship used research firm Whitestone Insight to conduct the research, with 4,056 UK Christian adults surveyed online last November.

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