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NEWS > Research > How different demographics engaged with charities during the COVID-19 pandemic

How different demographics engaged with charities during the COVID-19 pandemic

New research commissioned by Charities Institute Ireland reveals interesting trends in how the public has reacted to the Covid pandemic with younger people leading the way
5 Apr 2022
Research

New research commissioned by Charities Institute Ireland reveals interesting trends in how the public has reacted to the Covid pandemic with younger people leading the way in responding to requests for support from charities hit by the Covid crisis.
 

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Charities Institute Ireland and Amárach’s survey of a representative sample of 1,000 adults revealed:

  • Younger people (18-24), among all age groups, are leading the way in responding to requests for support from charities hit by the Covid crisis;
  • A major shift to online donations;
  • Confidence in online giving;
  • A strong preference for supporting charities focussed on providing services in Ireland rather than overseas.

 

Liz Hughes CEO Charities Institute Ireland, “The pandemic has caused a lot of change in our society.  This survey provides significant evidence that those in the 18-24 cohort have responded most to the pressures on charities.  This trend came through in a number of questions”:

  • 55% of 18-24-year olds have donated more than normal at this time, compared to an average for all age groups of 38%.  Almost 2 in 10 (18%) of 18-24s have given “significantly” more;
  • Only 15% of 18-24-year olds have not engaged with a charity in recent months, compared to almost double that (28%) for all groups;
  • This age group are the greatest users of social media channels (63%) to donate, almost twice as much as other age groups;
  • Completing an activity or challenge has been a big focus for 18-24-year olds with more than a third - 37% taking part. This compares to just 11% for all groups

“Perhaps the lockdown and the curtailment of our normal social lives has given this cohort a fresh perspective on charities and the work we do. 7 out of 10 18-24 year olds rated the work charities do as important or very important -more than any other age cohort.”

Many charities have responded to a collapse in traditional fundraising (events, face to face) by seeking donations online or by mobile phone.  The research shows that almost 2 thirds of respondents (62%) had little (24%) or no (38%) concern about donating via these channels. 

“This is encouraging because it is impossible to envisage a future without a significant level of fundraising being carried out online or remotely.”

The survey also showed a strong preference across all ages for supporting charities focused on providing services in Ireland (79%) with 20% donating to both Irish and overseas focussed charities. 

“This is an understandable result based on the focus there has been on the huge domestic impact, socially and economically, of the pandemic. But we should be conscious that the needs of others, especially in severely disadvantaged countries in the third world should not be forgotten.”

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