Why Do We Give to Charity, and Where Does it Go?



When we raise money for a charitable cause, or simply drop our loose change into a charity box, do we ever stop to think of why we do it? And do you actually know where that money goes?

Giving to charity is one of the best things that you can do, because you are making a conscious decision to help those in need rather than spend money on yourself. For the most part, charity is a selfless act that brings people together.

Although there are many reasons why we may give money to charity, have you ever stopped and thought why you do it? What is the one overriding reason why you donate or help to raise money?


Common Reasons Why We Give to Charity

For many, we choose to give money to charity for one of three reasons – 1. Because it makes us feel good 2. There is a personal motive to donating to a specific cause and 3. Because the money that we give goes towards helping someone in need.

For example, many will, at some point in their life, be affected by cancer – whether it is themselves or someone that they are close to. As charities, such as Cancer Research, hold a message that is personal to them, they will be more likely to give to such a charity, or help to raise money.


Charity giving


Religious Reasons

All religions teach us to help those in need, but in some cultures it is common for followers to give a set amount of their earnings to charity. In Muslim culture, followers pay Zakat at Ramadan as this makes up one of the five pillars of Islam. You can read more about the practice if you check this page out.

According to research in 2014, those that practice their faith are more generous to charities than those that do not. The study, carried out by the BBC, sampled 3,000 people with almost eight out of 10 who practice their religion having given to charity in the last month, compared to just over two-thirds of those who do not.

It is only a small difference between the two variables, but the results do point to the fact that religious beliefs play a key role in why many of us choose to give to charity.


Where Does the Money Go?

A big question that many want to know the answer to, once they have given money, is where and how will it be spent? Dependent on the cause of the charity, welfare work can be carried out across the world, while others reach may only stretch as far as the local neighbourhood.

Unfortunately, 2016 saw over 800 cases of charity fraud, which has caused many to ask the above question. In the aftermath of disasters, there is an outpouring of pleas for donations, the majority of which are authentic.

If you are ever unsure of the legitimacy of any charity/worker, then make sure of the following:

  • Ask to see the charity’s registration number and cross reference on the Charity Commission website
  • Never send money via money transfer websites
  • Ask the collector about the cause

If you follow the above list and everything checks out, then you can be sure that your money will be spent in the right areas. Many charities, especially those that offer sponsorship packages, offer literature detailing where your money is being spent and the positive outcome that it has had.

According to recent government statistics, there are 167,443 registered charities in England and Wales, with many more overseas carrying out equally as fantastic work. Whatever cause you choose to support, and whatever reason, rest assured that your donations are helping to make the world that little bit better.




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