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Insights into public engagement with good causes during & post-lockdown revealed


The pandemic has prompted younger audiences to both give more as well as for the first time, according to research by global agency Blue State, while overall people are keen to return to charity shops, volunteering, and raising money for good causes post-lockdown.

Blue State questioned 1,494 individuals in the UK during April, when the country was still in lockdown, and just before non-essential retail was allowed to reopen in England, to find out how people have engaged with good causes during the pandemic and how they plan to engage moving forward, post-pandemic.

Overall, in the past year the survey found:

45% have given a one-off donation online 43% have made a charity shop purchase 42% have signed a petition 39% have bought fair trade products from the supermarket 34% have given a one off cash, credit or cheque donation 30% have bought a pin, badge or other charity merchandise 18% gave to a street collector

In terms of causes donated to over the past year, 18% started giving or increased their donations to their local communities, while 16% started or increased their giving to national causes, and 7% did so to help people in developing countries. 

This was particularly the case among younger audiences, with over 20% of 18-24 year olds starting or increasing giving to their local communities, as well as to national causes, and nearly 15% to help people in developing countries. Similarly, amongst 25-34 year olds and 35-44 year olds, over 20% also started or increased giving to their local communities, while just under this among 25-34 year olds did the same with national causes.

Post-lockdown engagement

Looking forwards, the study also found that 93% of those surveyed intend to return to charity shops, 60% see themselves volunteering now or in the future, and 50% raising money by selling something at an event, such as baking cakes. Four out of five of those who have previously given face-to-face say they see themselves doing so again.

More people are also open to taking part in protests or demonstrations. While in 2019, around 6% of people had taken part in a protest in the past year, this study showed that 32% of people see themselves attending a protest or public demonstration now or in the future.

Lizi Zipser, director of global strategy and insights at Blue State commented: 

“This research paints a picture of a nation whose relationship to charity and giving has been transformed and strengthened by the pandemic.


“Young people – a group perceived as not engaged with giving – is now growing fast. And people are both willing and eager to mobilise and take part in demonstrations and protests at a rate we have never seen before.


“Charities across the UK should take note, and continue using digital channels to supplement the drop in face-to-face interactions. Giving has grown during the pandemic, and we are becoming a more generous nation. We need to continue inspiring those wishing to create impact in the world to donate, mobilise and continue this generosity as we ease out of this crisis.


“There’s no business-as-usual fundraising, so charities need to evolve to adapt as we move out of the pandemic.”

The full report can be found here.

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