There is a fair amount of anecdotal information on the interweb on the effects of the recession on giving, but people seem to be crying out for some hard facts. It's useful to remember that many of the major research companies give away absolutely free market intelligence. MORI undertook a study for the RNLI into giving in light of recent economic events as recently as September. They found that just over half of those questioned expected to keep giving at their current level, whilst 14% would be likely to donate more. That, admittedly, still leaves a large chunk of people who expect to give less, but should give a little comfort to the Corporal Jones' or Private Frazer's of our world.

RNLI research