Most people giving unwanted presents to charity » Charity Digital News

Most people giving unwanted presents to charity


Three out of five people have received unwanted Christmas presents, according to new research by the Charities Aid Foundation – but instead of trying to sell them online, the most popular way to get rid of the unwanted gifts is to give them to charity.

Clothes are the most likely item to be donated to charity, followed by toiletries, books and toys.

Only three per cent of us were brave enough in the past to admit the gift wasn’t quite right and exchange them and just two per cent returned them or got a refund.

The research, based on a poll by Populus, also reveals charities are benefiting from constantly evolving technology.

When buying new tech, nearly one in five people have given an older device or appliance to charity. And this device is most likely to be a mobile phone, followed by PCs, laptops, tablets and televisions.


The research commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) found:

  • 58 per cent of us admit to having not kept or used a Christmas present in the past – more women (64 per cent) than men (51 per cent)
  • Among those of us who have not kept presents in the past, the most popular thing to do is give them to charity (67 per cent of us)  –  71 per cent of women  and 58 per cent of men.
  • People have also given presents they didn’t keep to friends or family (59 per cent), recycled them (35 per cent) or sold them on eBay (four per cent)
  • Only three per cent of us have exchanged items we did not keep and just two per cent returned them.
  • Of the items donated to charity, the largest portion were clothes (47%),  24% were toiletries, bath or shower items, 16% were books, nine per cent toys, eight per cent ornaments, five per cent jewellery, and five per cent scarves.


Giving older devices away when buying new technology: 

  • 17% have given away an older device or appliance to charity when buying new technology
  • The most common thing to do is give the older device to a friend or relative (46 per cent)
  • The most common technology given to charity is mobile phone (65 per cent), followed by PCs (22 per cent), laptops (16 per cent), tablets (seven per cent) and televisions (three per cent).


John Low, chief executive of CAF, said: “The festive season is a time when people are tremendously generous to each other and giving is in the forefront of our minds. Charities can really benefit at Christmas as so many of us try and find valuable uses for well-intentioned gifts which might not quite hit the spot.

“It is wonderful that people are thinking about the wider community and making the best of that woolly jumper which will never be worn.

“Giving unwanted gifts to charity is so easy   – just drop them off at your closest charity shop  – or  researching which cause you value most and find out how they can benefit from your gift. What better way to get 2016 off to a charitable start than with a trip to the local charity shop?”

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