Chief Executive

Debunking the stereotypes about giving

There are many stereotypes about charitable giving which persist despite the evidence being very much to the contrary. One is that Scottish people are stingy, and another is that people on lower incomes give less to charity.

Thankfully, analyses of charitable donations tend to debunk these - I say thankfully as I am from north of the border and am eager to see the end of that particular stereotype! But what I see happening in Rotherham demonstrates how ridiculous the second stereotype, which has also been repeatedly discredited, is as well.

Studies have shown, not just in the UK but in many developed nations, that although individuals on a lower income do, as can be expected, give significantly less to charity on average than those on higher income, the proportion of their income given is far higher: 3% of income as opposed to the 1% that higher earners give on average. This is much more meaningful than quantity as it is a measure of generosity; a minimum wage earner giving £50 to a charity is clearly sacrificing more than a higher wage earner who wouldn't think twice about spending the same amount on a bottle of wine.

In a town like Rotherham, where the majority of people are on lower incomes, you'd expect local contributions to be on the disappointing side. But the reality is quite the opposite: we see such a lot of consistently generous giving that we are able to create fairly robust budgets on the back of it!

So we'd like to thank the generous people of Rotherham for bucking the stereotypes, and for supporting us and taking part in our events with such enthusiasm and persistence. We hope our new website will make it easier for people to give, and with our lottery now online, we also hope that your generosity will lead to you winning some of it back!

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