June 12, 2019

How much money goes to charity when you donate?

We’re a very generous bunch here in the UK despite recent circumstances. While the last year has certainly been challenging, many people have expressed their support. In the first six months of 2020, the public donated over £5.4bn to charity, over £800m more compared to the same period in 2019.

COVID-19 has led to many people experiencing financial hardship, so the decision to donate to charity is not taken lightly. Furthermore, some members of the public remain sceptical of how charities spend their money and how much of their donations go towards their chosen cause.

Of course, charities cannot work for free – the vital services that are provided by charities across the UK demand human resources, marketing and fundraising costs, along with electricity to keep the lights on! This means that no matter their cause or size, charities have to be careful to balance their fundraising and ensure some income goes towards keeping things running smoothly.

That being said, when you give to causes you believe in, you’ll want to know that your money is going to help those in need as opposed to being absorbed into administrative costs. In this article, we’ll be providing some much-needed clarity on how much money goes towards your chosen cause when you donate to charity.

What percentage of charity donations go towards administration costs?

On average, the most well-known and largest charities in the UK will spend between 26-87% of their annual income on charitable activities – i.e. fulfilling the charitable services the charity exists to provide. The remaining income is usually divided across administrative and operational costs, which are crucial to ensuring that charities are successful in their cause.

We appreciate that 26-87% is quite a range, so let’s try to narrow it down. A