What Pushes Aussies to Support Good Causes?
28 June 2012 at 11:30 am
A report has shown that Aussies are less likely to take action unless it impacts them directly
A global survey reveals that Australians are less likely to take action to support good causes unless they impact on their everyday life.
The goodpurpose study by global public relations firm Edelemans reveals the issues that matter most to Australians are those that impact everyday life and only half of Australians surveyed said they are personally involved in supporting good causes.
The survey found that only 48 per cent of Australians said they are personally involved in supporting a good cause. For most Aussies, personal involvement means donating, the survey found.
64 per cent of Australians said they have donated money over the past year to address societal and community issues. 29 per cent said they have donated time or expertise.
Top Ranking Social Causes in Australia include
- Improving the quality of healthcare (74%)
- Stopping Violence and abuse (73%)
- Crime Reduction and prevention (70%)
- Access to water (65%)
Large, complex and heavily politicised challenges like climate change, pollution and sustainable energy (42 per cent), Biodiversity (27 per cent), or Equality for Australian Indigenous Populations (30 per cent), are far less important to Australians than the issues that can directly impact personal life.
“The communications challenge for business, the Not for Profit sector, environmental campaigners and the government departments working in these areas is to bring the conversation about these issues back into a personal context. Australians want to feel empowered to make a difference and be involved in social change,” Michelle Hutton chief executive of Edelman Australia said.
“As Australians’ relationships with social issues evolve, so do expectations for the private sector. A growing interest in societal issues and causes, coupled with new individual-driven channels of communication such as Facebook and Twitter, has prompted the rise of “Citizen Actionism” – individuals who seek deeper involvement with social issues and expect brands and corporations to provide a means of engagement and participation,” Hutton said.
The Australian data showed that the majority of Australians (83 per cent) said it was very important for businesses to address social and community issues, yet only 29 per cent believe business is performing well in addressing these issues.
“A business’ action or inaction to address societal and community issues can influence its reputation; our data showed that Australians hesitate buying a product if a company treated its employees or suppliers unfairly and we are more likely to buy a product if the company made a positive impact on the local community,” director of Edelman Australia’s corporate practice Kate Ferguson said.
The global goodpurpose study demonstrated that personal involvement in good causes is much more prevalent amongst 'Rapidly Growing Economies' like China (94 per cent), India (78 per cent), Brazil (65 per cent) and the UAE (65 per cent).
Consumers in these markets are demonstrating their preference for purpose across all facets of life including buying, sharing, donating, volunteering, praising and punishing. These consumers’ passion and action on behalf of brands stands in contrast to consumers from developed markets like the U.S. (53 per cent) and the UK (53 per cent).
“Consumers in Rapid Growing Economies have much higher expectations of and engagement with brands and corporations on societal issues. Their passion and action on behalf of purpose and good causes stands in stark contrast to Australians' behaviour. There has been a significant growth of the middle class in these markets. They have a newfound level of purchasing power and they expect brands and corporations to take the lead on issues that matter to them,” Ferguson said.
On the issue of brand marketing the survey found that 68 per cent of Australians said they are more likely to purchase a product knowing that a portion of the money would go to a good cause.
Some 59 per cent of Australians are more likely to recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t.
52 per cent of Australians would help a brand promote their products or services if that brand supports a good cause and 36 percent of Australians buy brands that support a good cause at least monthly.
However, the survey found that Aussie brands are not doing a great job in communicating their commitment to Purpose.
One in three Australians (28 per cent) said they did not know if they had purchased a product that supported a good cause.
84 per cent of global consumers say they purchase a product that supports a good cause at least yearly. The local study revealed that only 57 per cent of Australians purchase a product that supports a good cause at least once a year.