Londoners among the least charitable compared to other UK counterparts

  • Research released today shows that only 30% of Londoners actively support charities once a month
  • 89% of Londoners believe that service providers (utilities, phone, gas, electric) are not doing enough for charity
  • Unveiled as the ‘Big Six’ energy firm bosses paid enough in 2022 to power 23,000 homes for a year
  • Study undertaken by the Smiley Charity Film Awards, an annual initiative undertaken by the Smiley Movement,

Research released today by the Smiley Charity Film Awards, London is one of the least charitable compared to other UK counterparts with only 30% supporting charities once a month and just 17% stating they have never donated or volunteered.

On a similar end of the spectrum, the research has discovered a sour opinion among Londoners towards the charitable action of UK service providers (utilities, phone, gas and electric). The study shows that 43% of Londoners believe that UK businesses don’t do enough for charity, but this is raised to an outstanding 89% when considering just service providers.

This comes among recent findings that executives and senior employees of the ‘Big Six’ gas and electric companies (British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, ScottishPower and SSE) received nearly £60m in salaries and bonuses last year. Amid alarming rises in energy costs and an increasingly dim economic climate, energy providers are being called on to take action against astronomic salaries and now adding fuel to the fire, their lack of charitable action.

Undertaken by the Smiley Charity Film Awards, an annual initiative undertaken by the Smiley Movement, the recent polling sought to delve deeper into public opinion and behaviour around charity giving. The study brought to light a huge amount of insightful data that not only demands attention and change but also informs charities on how best to engage with consumers.

In terms of how we choose to support charities, the research found that 67% of Londoners would choose to give monetary donations in order to support a charity, versus 36% choosing volunteering. The percentage of Londoners choosing volunteering is much higher than the UK average of 25%. The survey also found that 60% of Londoners got their information on charities from Facebook out of the various social media channels. The wider cause comes before the specific charity as 67% of Londoners are motivated to support charities if they care about the cause in general compared to 57% who support if that charity does valuable work.

Ahead of the seventh iteration of the Smiley Charity Film Awards, which will take place on the 20th March 2024 in London, the polling also discovered the powerful role that film has to play in creating positive charitable action. Nearly half (43%) of Londoners are more likely to support a charitable cause after watching a film that highlights their work which is higher than the UK average of 35%. Of those who watched charity films in the past year, an encouraging 71% went on to support those charities in some way, whether it be through monetary donations, fundraising or volunteering, which again is higher than the UK average of 62%.

The finalists for the 2024 awards will be announced on the 12th February and you can vote for your favourite on

Featured Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash.

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