Over 65s are most charitable age group
Northern Ireland’s over 65s are the most charitable age group in the country, according to a survey carried out by Danske Bank.
At the end of 2015, Danske Bank carried out a survey of 1,000 people across Northern Ireland on the issue of charitable giving. The survey found that 81 per cent of people aged over 65 had donated money to charity last year, compared to 60 per cent of young adults (the 16-24 age group).
The survey indicates a higher support for charitable organisations by the ‘growing older’ population in Northern Ireland, both financially and through donation of goods and volunteering. Half of those surveyed aged 65 and over donated goods to local charities, while nine per cent supported through volunteering.
Direct cash donations are the most popular method of giving for this age range however they remain the least likely age group to sponsor a charity. This finding is consistent with research studies that show a personal connection to a cause or charity often drives up charitable donations whereas sponsorship is more associated with supporting an individual with their activity.
Danske Bank chief economist Angela McGowan said:
“Despite the fact that many older people have been earning less money on their savings in recent years and annuity payments have declined, this age group remains one of the most giving groups in our society.
“Born in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s our older population has grown up in a less materialistic era. Their unique generational experiences appear to have left them with strong beliefs about helping other people and being involved in charitable acts. However, different generations do not necessarily follow previous generations along the same behavioural path. Young people in Northern Ireland are currently not quite as generous as their predecessors. This could present a significant challenge for charities in coming decades and it also begs questions about how we as a society can ensure that our most vulnerable citizens will be adequately supported in the future.”
Commenting on the survey findings, Evelyn Hoy, Chief Executive of the Office of the Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, said:
“I welcome Danske Bank’s findings which highlight how the over 65s are Northern Ireland’s most generous charity givers, with 81 per cent of those surveyed donating funds to charity. This is a very impressive figure. With many also volunteering their time to support local causes, this shows that far from being a drain on society, older people are in fact significant contributors.
“As well as donating to charities, older people frequently give financial support to family members. Research carried out by the Commissioner for Older People found that older households give on average £962 per annum. This came in the form of education fees, helping with deposits for homes, purchasing cars and pocket money. Research such as that published by Danske Bank highlights how Northern Ireland is a better place because of older people’s economic and social contributions to society, and this is something to be celebrated.”