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Brits dig deep as they find ways to help others through Coronavirus crisis

22 March 2020

More than half of all British adults (55%) say they will be helping their local community, such as vulnerable neighbours in the battle against Coronavirus, a new poll has found.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) survey was carried out on March 17 and 18, as the country began to come to grips with both the severity of the outbreak and the impact it will have on daily life. Many are also considering how they can best help others, be it family, neighbours or the wider community.

The survey also found that one in five people (20%) said they are likely to  donate more money to charity than usual, although almost a quarter (24%) of families with three or more children said they are likely to  give less to charity as a result of the crisis.

The information comes as separate provisional polling of charities by CAF asking them to list what they most need from Government at this time found that 53% said they needed cash grants, compared to the next highest rated item, which was additional staff (19%).

Susan Pinkney, Head of Research at CAF, said:

“This polling was taken just as news of what is happening here in the UK was beginning to sink in and it shows us the willingness of the majority of people to help where – and how – they can.

“It signals that a great number of people are looking at ways to contribute and these numbers will hopefully grow as more and more people realise the role of charities, volunteers and community in helping us all get through this painful time.

“We are hearing directly from front line charities that they need funding urgently – for many, without additional money, they will not be able to keep their doors open.”

The survey also found:

  • 4 in 10 people (37%) say they are likely to donate to local charities because of the crisis, 24% to national charities and 13% to international charities
  • 45% of people said they are likely to donate food or personal hygiene products to a foodbank
  • 36% say they are likely to donate to NHS charities as a result of the crisis
  • Women are more likely than men to say they will help in their local community during the crisis (62% vs. 47% of men)
  • Middle aged people were most likely to say they would help out (e.g. 62% of 45-54s vs. 55% average)

Past research by CAF found that when people donate money in response to a specific crisis, such as a tsunami or earthquake, it does not affect the amount of money they already give to other good causes – showing the in times of crisis, the British people dig deeper to help.


*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2066 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th - 18th March 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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About CAF

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed. CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities. We are CAF and we make giving count.
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