CPA Australia
News  |  General

Charities Struggle with Disengaged Public

Thursday, 9th April 2015 at 11:00 am
Xavier Smerdon
Do charity campaigns inspire people to act and are men better at ‘giving’? Well apparently not, according to two new research reports from the UK.

Thursday, 9th April 2015
at 11:00 am
Xavier Smerdon



Charities Struggle with Disengaged Public
Thursday, 9th April 2015 at 11:00 am

Do charity campaigns inspire people to act and are men better at ‘giving’? Well apparently not, according to two new research reports from the UK.

The latest research from nfpSynergy in the UK reveals that charity campaigns have inspired just one in seven people to take political action in the last year.

According to the statistics, just 14 per cent signed a petition, three per cent wrote a letter to their local MP and one per cent went to meet their MP face-to-face. 16 per cent said they had spoken to friends or family about an issue as a result of a charity campaign, but more than half had done nothing.

The research found that whilst charities play an important role in encouraging political engagement, over half (57 per cent) of the public still report having taken no action following charity campaigns.

“Charities are facing an up-hill battle to persuade the public to engage in the political process on their behalf,” nfpsynergy boss, Joe Saxton said.

“People often underestimate the impact an individual can have, so demonstrating what they could achieve (much like fundraising appeals do) and the importance MPs place on issues that concern their constituents could motivate greater public response to campaigns.”

There is, however, better news on the ‘giving’ front with over a quarter of the people surveyed having donated.

“We also discovered that donors are far more interested in politics than non-donors (58 per cent vs 36 per cent). There is therefore scope for charities to build on engaging their supporter base beyond fundraising by directly appealing to this interest.”













Other recent research has found that half of the men in the UK do nothing for charity.

Just under half (48 per cent) of British men fail to support good causes or get involved in social action in a typical month, according to latest figures released by the Charities Aid Foundation.

CAF’s annual UK Giving report found that men are much less likely than women to be involved in supporting causes across all types of giving, including volunteering, donating money and sponsorship.

Over three fifths (63 per cent) of women get involved in some way during a typical month, compared to 52 per cent of men.

Women are also nearly twice as likely to donate to a charity shop, 27 per cent gifting their items in the four weeks prior to interview, compared to 15 per cent of men.

Younger people are also less likely to be involved with supporting good causes, nearly three fifths (58 per cent) of those aged 16 – 24 doing none of the charitable or social actions listed in a typical month. Those aged 45-64 are the most likely to be involved, 63 per cent having done something for a good cause in the previous month.

The report estimates that Britons donated £10.6bn to charity in 2014.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers?

Get in touch at

Tags : charities, Research, UK,


Get more stories like this


Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Unpaid Carers Facing Significant Economic Disadvantage

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 21st August 2018 at 3:45 pm

NFPs Driving WA Economy, Report Says

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 15th February 2017 at 4:20 pm

Study into the Effect of the NDIS on Carers

Lina Caneva

Wednesday, 25th January 2017 at 9:26 am

Survey Reveals Australian Attitudes to Torture in Conflict

Lina Caneva

Tuesday, 6th December 2016 at 3:05 pm


The second NDIS shock absorber: The disability workforce

Fran Connelley

Tuesday, 11th February 2020 at 8:05 am

Adani disrupted as 75-year-old ‘locks on’ to headquarters

Maggie Coggan

Saturday, 8th February 2020 at 12:00 pm

Predictions for 2020: Shared value

Helen Steel

Tuesday, 4th February 2020 at 8:44 am

Equity Trustees
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!