Ad Infinitum - How charity media expenditure patterns are changing

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Ad Infinitum - How charity media expenditure patterns are changing

We're pleased to publish our new analysis of charities advertising expenditure patterns. The single most interesting finding is how charities are spending so little on the internet – just 5%- compared to the market as a whole where 46% of all expenditure is now on the internet.

You can read our in-depth analysis of this report in our blog, or scroll down further to download the charts.

Key findings include:

  • Advertising spend continues to grow across the UK, and charities have a minimal hold of between 2% and 3% of overall spend.
  • The main area of growth in advertising in the UK is through the internet, which has nearly doubled over the last four years and grown to 46% of all advertising spending. While charities have followed this trend they trail behind with only 5% of their advertising budgets going on the internet in 2016. 
  • That said, charity internet expenditure has risen over the last three years and represents a growth across the charity sector. However, this has been spearheaded by the large charities who are increasingly investing millions of pounds in this area.
  • Charity Press is the only area that has shown a downward trend over the last nine years, and especially since 2013, corresponding in the opposite direction to the advertising spend on the internet.
  • Direct mail has reduced from around three quarters to a half of charities’ advertising expenditure, demonstrating a move away from direct marketing but this sill dominates charities advertising portfolios. With the eve of GDPR this is likely to change, and may be the right opportunity for charities to diversify their advertising.
  • Cinema advertising spending has also increased over the last few years, but this is a small part of the expenditure and tends to be used by only around 25 charities, and is dominated by very few.

You can download the full report and charts using the purple download form below. If you have any questions about this report, please leave a comment or contact


Submitted by Emma Kendon (not verified) on 7 Mar 2018


While there are many media in the advertising mix, it looks disproportionate without the spend in e.g. Face-to-Face and Door-to-Door...

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