According to, every year 74% of British adults give to charity in various form. The figure increases among people who are over 65 and is at its lowest among people under 35 years.

However, the survey showed one area where younger people will be more likely to donate: technology. A third of 18 to 34-year-olds who donate to charity have made an impromptu donation online.

More apps are available for online transactions and people under 35 are in the forefront. These levels of use indicate that charities can benefit greatly from a more organized move towards using the average tools of the digital world to drive engagements and donations. This is especially true for young digitally savvy people, who may be least likely to give to charity.

The new way of giving

The research by YouGov examined various methods of digital giving. The “small change initiative” was tested and it brings about spontaneous, ad hoc online donations and is built to reflect the changes in the way people shop and pay for their goods.

This initiative is a digital version of the famed collection tin by the tills which encourages shoppers to “round-up” their purchases and if they buy an item for £5.95, they would pay £6, and the additional 5p will be given to charity.

Almost half of the adults who participated were already aware of this “small change initiative.” One in five British adults have given to charity through the initiative, and this figure has risen among the under people under 35 due to the increased level of awareness.

As shown in the online donation trends, the major potential for growth of the small change initiative lies with youths. Almost half of the adults stated that they are likely to give to charity using the small change initiative on an online purchase in the future if that option was available to them.

The initiative is currently gaining traction, and also benefit retailers who participate. Around 18% of people said they would use an online retailer who was a part of the initiative, and this figure has increased to over 27% of the 18-34-year-olds.

Why do we need digital equivalents of “real-world” transactions?

Online transaction and mobile technology have transformed various sectors for years now. By reaching 18-34 year-olds with platforms that they are comfortable with, and asking them to take part in charitable giving through their preferred channels, charities could lay the groundwork for a lifetime of donations from today’s youths.

Charities can help boost charitable giving by shifting the focus and introducing the digital equivalents of successful fundraising methods. Given the data obtained from the survey, we can infer that, with a small push, this “small change initiative,” may be just one of such successes.