Sunday, 19 May 2024
Sunday, 19 May 2024

British Muslims are most generous group in the UK

A major new report on charitable giving across the UK has found that British Muslims are giving to charity at a rate at least four times higher than the British average.

The report is based on a survey of more than 1,000 UK adult Muslims across the UK, carried out to help understand key behaviours, trends and drivers in charitable interactions across the group

It found that UK Muslims gave 4.3x more than the national British average across the past 12 months – £708 versus £165.

This generosity was seen across all income brackets and rose to its highest amongst those earning between £75,000-£99,999 (who gave on average over 10x the UK-wide baseline in the same age group – £1,494).

According to the pillars of Islam, eligible Muslims must give Zakat – donations equal to 2.5% of their qualifying wealth – every year. The survey found that 56% of British Muslims always pay their Zakat. However, even factoring this in, the average donation amount still
far outweighed the British average.

UK Muslims were more involved in charity in other ways too.

Outside of monetary donations, a greater number of Muslims gave time to volunteer in person last year (17% / 11%); more were involved with community organisations (13%/7%); in community fundraising events (21%/10%) and personal challenges such as marathons (15%/8%).

Donations to food banks and charity shops were at similar high rates across the general UK/Muslim population (around a third of people, and around half of people respectively).

The findings are significant for UK charities, who may be considering ways to better understand this demographic.

The research, which also involved a number of focus groups, was conducted by Blue State, a UK marketing agency that specialises in partnering with non-profits and charities.

Three out of four Muslims in the UK have already donated to support individuals impacted by the war in Gaza. With more than 3m Muslim adults in the UK, that represents 2m+ donors giving to the crisis in the first four months. 67% also said they plan to increase
this in the next 12 months.

International donations were a big focus for Muslim donors, with 85% donating internationally in the past 12 months (compared to 48% as the UK average) – however, 82% of Muslims also gave to local /UK-based causes (and 78% of the population did so nationally).

When it came to Zakat alone, 61% of respondents donated to an Islamic charity and 14% to a secular charity. However, more respondents said they were open to donating Zakat to secular organisations. Up to half said they would consider it if such organisations did
more to communicate and engage with them.

Organisations serving the needs of children were common recipients of Muslim donors, with 1 in 5 Muslim adults having donated to them in the past year. Save The Children and UNICEF were among the top recipients at 21% and 19% respectively.

Overall the report and research paints a picture of an audience that is highly engaged with giving and open to hearing more from charities. This presents an opportunity for UK nonprofits to think about how they engage Muslim donors not just during Ramadan but across the year.

One research participant, taking part in a focus group ahead of the survey, gave an indication of the attitude behind the findings – one that is tied to faith, but also a sense of fairness:

‘For us [giving]… is not {an annual event]. This is a year-round consideration. It’s our duty as those who have enough. If it was done properly, then there would be enough. Everyone would be catered for. Everyone would have what they need.’

Jasmine Miah, senior strategist at Blue State said:

“This research built on a study we undertook last year – when digging down into a national survey, we could see hints that British Muslims seemed to be the most generous group in British society. We knew we needed to go further and with this comprehensive survey, with 3,000 people surveyed in total, and more than 1,000 of them are British Muslims, we can finally confirm this finding.

“These findings have implications for British charities, and how they engage the whole of society to provide essential services – but also reflects a positive and generous attitude not only to donations but also to community life from the UK Muslim population.”

Download the full report here.

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