Purpose: This conceptual paper is designed to act as a catalyst for further debate and research surrounding the relationship between national identity and donor behaviour. Whereas much research has investigated how consumer ethnocentrism impacts upon purchase decisions, this conversation has not been extended into the realm of charitable giving. Given the current political and economic debates surrounding immigration policy and European Union membership, the issue of how national identity impacts upon charitable choice appears more pertinent than ever. Findings: A review of existing literature concludes that consumer ethnocentrism may not be an applicable construct in the context of charitable giving. This paper proposes an alternative concept, charitable ethnocentrism, be used to further investigate donor decision making. Public attitudes towards relevant political policies surrounding austerity and official development assistance (ODA) are also identified as factors which may influence charity choice. Implications: This discussion informs future research addressing how donors choose between what is a growing range of charitable causes. Specifically, the paper focuses on the distinction between supporting charities that are local, national or international in scope, and identifies relevant constructs that may explain how donors prioritise causes that serve different beneficiaries. Contribution: In an increasingly competitive charitable marketplace, this paper aims to stimulate empirical research that could influence future fundraising strategies used by charities. In academic terms, this paper instigates a timely discussion surrounding donor decision making, bringing together relevant concepts surrounding national identity that have not previously been considered in a third sector setting.