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Why Urban Poor Donate

Abstract: This article presents the outcomes to a study of the charity donation behavior of 771 low-income people residing in three socially deprived Boroughs in inner-London. It emerged that several variables known to affect (a) levels of charity giving and (b) choices of types of charity supported among the U.K. public as a whole also influenced the donation behavior of the financially poor. In addition, it appeared that a participant’s sense of affinity with other low-income people and the degree to which the individual believed that the poor were unfairly treated by society at large exerted significant impacts on giving behavior. However behavior differed according to whether a low-income person was “better-educated” (i.e., possessed a qualification beyond the level normally obtained at the minimum legal school leaving age) or was less well-educated. The “very poor” did not donate a higher percentage of their incomes than the moderately poor.
Keywords: donor behavior / Fund-raising / Low-income Donors / social deprivation / Self-concept

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