CGAP Briefing Note 3 - Seasonal patterns in household giving in the UK
Charities require a regular income throughout the year to fund their programmes. But do levels of giving remain constant, or are they affected by seasonal factors? An analysis of data on patterns of giving by season from the national Expenditure and Food Survey reveals that:
- the average weekly value of donations follows a slightly U‑shaped trend across the year, varying considerably by quarter;
- lowest levels of giving are found in the summer months, when average weekly donating is down by 11% compared to the autumn and winter quarters;
- the higher amounts observed in the earlier part of the year are due mainly to gifts from wealthier households, and may be related to the end of the tax year in March/April;
- low‑income households are particularly generous towards the end of the year and Christmas.