Opinium reveals how the charity sector could change after Covid-19

A new report from Opinium examines the ways in which consumers are supporting charities during the crisis, and reveals the potential long-term changes to the sector as a result of Covid-19. The report also shares consumer recommendations for charities during this time, including the need for increased digital campaigns, celebrity endorsements, and capitalising on the new sense of community.

State of consumer support

  • Half (51%) of UK adults are continuing to support charities at this time.
  • Support continues for charities supporting animals (18%) and specific diseases (18%), but support for causes on poverty (16%) local services (16%) and Homelessness (14%) now also make up the top five.
  • Those who continue to support charities are most likely to be providing one-off or occasional donations (23% of UK adults) rather than setting up regular donations (10%). One in ten (12%) have donated to a fundraiser and 11% have donated goods.
  • A fifth (20%) of those who have supported a charity during lockdown say they have donated more goods than they usually would.
  • One in five UK adults (19%) have donated to specific Coronavirus emergency funds
  • A third (33%) of those who support a charity have donated more money than usual and 15% are volunteering more of their time than they usually do
  • However, half (49%) of UK adults have not supported a charity during the last month while the country has been under lockdown

Long-term impacts of Covid-19 on the sector

  • 12% of those that are donating more than usual currently,  say they will donate more money to charity when things start to return to normality, as consumers recognise the long-term support needed for charities to support vulnerable people.
  • Personal awareness for personal difficulties and experiences of community has increased during Covid-19.

Popularity of forms of giving

  • Most popular way of supporting a charity  to raise money is buying an item (40%)
  • Doing individual runs or bike rides rather than large organised runs are also popular (39% love or like this), as are online pub quizzes (30%) and online fundraisers on behalf of someone that has passed away (26%).

Kate Whiffen, Senior Research Manager at Opinium Research comments: “Charities are currently going through some challenging times due to COVID-19. These challenges are likely to remain for some time, as it’s unlikely society will return to full normality anytime soon. Therefore knowing how charities can adapt and move forward in these times is key. We have heard some very positive stories from the public as to what makes them support more now and what would do in the future, but it’s the challenge of communicating and educating  the long term impact Covid-19 will have on the charity sector and learning from new initiatives that have been successful that would work in the future.”


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