With the usual January vows to lose weight, drink less, and exercise often abandoned on 'Blue Monday', research from BT reveals the nation’s attitudes to New Year’s resolutions.

The third Monday of January, Blue Monday is supposedly the most depressing day of the calendar year.

While self-improvement-focused resolutions such as saving more money and starting a new hobby proved popular among respondents, more than a quarter (28%) said that they would be more likely to adhere to New Year’s resolutions if they involved a charitable cause. This was particularly prevalent among the younger demographic, with 38% of 18-24 year olds declaring themselves more motivated to keep a resolution which is linked to charity.

One in six people who plan to make a New Year’s resolution also stated that they will do something for others through charitable activities in 2017, either through fundraising, giving money or volunteering.

Increasingly busy lifestyles were shown to have an impact on the nation’s outlook towards charitable giving, finding that, while 71% of Brits report having given to charity in the past year, only 14% actively fundraised. Indeed, this trend was borne out by 37% of respondents reporting a preference for giving money to charity, rather than dedicating time to volunteering, although 24% of people like to give both.

[Read more: Nearly 90% of people think fundraising platforms should be clearer about charges]

The impact of social media was also highlighted in the survey as an important factor in charitable activity – nearly one in 10 (9%) of 18–24 year olds admitted that the kudos of being able to share their fundraising activity on social media sites such as Twitter and Instagram was a key factor in their wanting to fundraise.

With 54% of Brits agreeing that their chosen charity receiving an additional incentive would encourage them to raise more money, BT will be hosting a prize draw to boost the nation’s fundraising – MyDonate’s Donation Doubler. Any fundraisers who create a page on the platform and raise over £100* between 5 January and 20 February 2017 will be entered in to a prize draw to double the donations received on their fundraising page, up to a value of £1,000.

Suzy Christopher, Charity and Community Director, BT, said: “With nearly three quarters of us having donated to charity over the past year, it’s clear that we’re a generous nation. As 54% of us will make exercising more our priority in 2017, tying this into a charitable New Year challenge could be the perfect way to combine fitness and fundraising – from embarking on a sponsored bike ride to scaling a mountain summit. I’m running the London Marathon in April and fundraising for charity has certainly motivated me to keep training!”

With 42% of resolution-makers vowing to save more money, BT MyDonate offers the ideal solution. It’s is one of the few platforms available to UK charities that doesn’t take commission or charge charities a registration fee or monthly fee subscription. That means charities can receive an additional £3.60 per £50 donation** with gift aid when using MyDonate.


* Excluding Gift Aid and offline donations

**Based on the 5% commission charged by a leading competitor on the combined value of your donation, and Gift Aid (where applicable).