Wood for Trees releases State of the Sector Report January-June 2022

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Since releasing its annual state of the sector report at the start of the year, Wood for Trees has published a six-month update with statistics and trends from the charity sector during January-June 2022, taken from the award-winning data agency’s InsightHub charity benchmarking tool.

During the first half of 2022, charities have shown resilience in the face of the financial crisis in the UK with numbers continuing to grow on the last two years. Overall, income was up 6% January-June 2022 compared to the same time period last year, indicating a strong performance based on the highs reached in 2021.

However, a deeper dive into the figures reveals some concerning trends. Income growth has mostly come from increased community fundraising and high-value giving associated with the highly successful Ukraine emergency appeals. Outside of this, donation value has fallen, particularly with one-off donations (although these are still above 2019 levels).

Donor recruitment is up on last year but has fallen in recent months along with increasing attrition and decreasing file sizes, which is likely to have been affected by the cost-of-living crisis. Although regular giving had begun to rise with the return of direct dialogue, this has also fallen with a drop in monthly income. In addition, there are indications of lower levels of initial lifetime value and cross-sell activity.

On a more positive note, climbing contactability rates and continuously shifting donor demographics points towards younger and more financially struggling audiences choosing to give to charity, which indicates new audiences for charities to appeal to.

Jon Kelly, Managing Director at Wood for Trees says: “Despite a good start to the year and some positive signs, there are indications of recruitment and retention falling back and becoming increasingly difficult to maintain with current economic challenges. But, to put things in perspective, income is holding up and levels of giving are higher than pre-pandemic. People are still donating where they can and if charities continue to engage with their supporters in meaningful ways, keep appropriate communications open and offer chances to give in other ways the support will likely continue and pick up again.”

For more information, request a free copy of the State of the Sector Report January-June 2022 here.

Request a free copy of the State of the Sector Report January-June 2022