Whether at the request of a friend, at a check-out line or in response to a TV advertisement, a majority of US adults say they donate to a charity yearly. A survey from GWI finds that animal welfare, health and medical research, and homelessness and poverty are the three most important causes among US internet users who support charities.
Animal welfare is an overall favorite type of charity, with 3 in 10 (30.2% of) survey respondents (note: all survey respondents support charities in some form) saying it was a cause they cared about (top-3 choices). It also ranked at the top for every generation, but especially Gen X. While animal welfare was ranked high on the list of preferred causes by Millennials (30%) and Baby Boomers (31.9%), Gen X are the most likely to donate to animal welfare causes, with more than one-third (35.1%) saying it’s important to them.
Respondents also ranked health and medical research (not including COVID-19 research; 28.4%), homelessness and poverty (27.6%), environmental causes (23.3%) and education (19%) among their top charitable causes.
Despite affecting virtually everyone, only 1 in 10 say COVID-19 relief is a cause they care about, with Millennials being the most likely to donate to these funds (17.2%). Only 6.4% of Gen X and 5.7% of Boomers say COVID relief is one of their top-3 important causes.
Millennials are also most likely to say environmental and social causes are most important, choosing organizations that are dedicated to helping the environment (27.5%) and investing in social and community development (18.5%).
Consumers don’t just want to donate money to causes they support, they want the business and brands they shop from to be purpose-driven and support the causes they care about. For instance, consumers expect businesses to do their part when it comes to sustainability. Similarly, while racial justice is a cause that is important to fewer than one-fifth (16.6%) of the respondents when considering supporting a charity, Ipsos found that more than half of US adults say they want brands to donate to organizations that fight racial inequality.
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About the Data: Findings are based on a June-July survey 2021 survey of 2,002 US internet users, 1,650 of whom support charities in some form.