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Have faith in the generosity of your community

New research shows that some regions in the UK are much more generous than others

Wednesday, 15 September, 2010

In a climate of growing political emphasis on charitable activity at local levels, new research comparing long-term patterns of regional giving in the UK for the first time reveals a marked variation largely due to households on higher incomes being more likely to give to charity. This means that in poorer areas, fewer people give.
It is perhaps unsurprising that wealthy people donate more money in absolute terms, however this doesn't mean that the proportion of their incomes they donate is always higher. A recent study, authored by Professor Cathy Pharoah, Co-Director of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass, also shows that there are very large regional variations in levels of giving.
One notable example is that households in Northern Ireland are twice as likely to donate, regardless of income, as those located in Wales, the West Midlands, and North East England. One explanation for this difference is that there are many opportunities for giving, thanks to the strong faith allegiances in the region. A similar pattern of giving is notable in North West London which also has number of strong faith based communities.
The lesson for charities, according to Professor Pharoah in this week's Cass Talks interview, is that they should look closely at the regional variations in giving and assess why these differences might occur. Is it purely a question of wealth? Or are there other factors such as the number of charities in the area, the social make-up of the region and the opportunities that are available for people to give?
The Cass Talks interviews are an opportunity to hear Cass faculty and prominent alumni give their perspective on current business and finance news stories, global issues affecting the business world and new research coming out of the School. Listen, watch and download Cass Talks and see other Cass academics share their opinions at

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