We are all only too well aware of the difficulties in the economy that continue to create a challenging environment and our latest tracking results suggest that on-going pressure on charitable donations has taken another turn for the worse in the first half of 2011.

With 42% of the population indicating that they are finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet (the highest proportion recorded since this tracker started in May 2008) it is not surprising that many people have been looking to cut back on their spending.  Different people find different areas to cut back in, but it is areas such as eating out, nights out, clothing, holidays and even food and groceries that are the most popular areas for trimming expenditure. The burgeoning cost of fuel has triggered many to also cut back on transport.

While being more resilient than some forms of expenditure, donations to charity are not immune to such pressures, indeed in May 2011 just over a fifth (22%) of the population indicated they had cut back on donations to charity in the last three months. Of particular concern is that 20% of those who think of themselves as regular donors also indicated such a cutback, the highest levels recorded in this critical group. The immediate future also looks challenging with just under 3 out of 10 who regularly donate to charity expecting to donate less in the near future. We will continue to monitor the changes that can impact on those much less fortunate than ourselves.