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Almost eight in 10 people can't name a disability charity, poll shows

Lack of awareness might be down to absence of a market-leading charity in that area, says Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy, which carried out the research

Joe Saxton
Joe Saxton

More than three-quarters of people aged 16 and over cannot name a disability charity, according to new research by the consultancy nfpSynergy

In a survey released yesterday, a nationally representative sample of 1,000 people were given a list of cause areas and asked to name any charities they knew of that worked in each area. For ‘disability’, 77 per cent of respondents were unable to name a charity.

In a similar survey of 550 nationally representative 11 to 16-year-olds, 82 per cent could not name any disability charities.

The area where both adults and teenagers were most likely to be able to name a charity was ‘preventing cruelty to children’ – only 27 per cent of people aged 16 plus and 28 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds were unable to name a charity that worked in this area.

In most cause areas, the proportion that could name at least one charity was similar among both adults and young people.

The survey also found that awareness levels of well-known charities were similar among all age groups.

Teenagers were found to be slightly less likely than adults to give to charity or to volunteer. When asked in November 2012 whether they had given money to charity in the past three months, 57 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds said they had, compared with 75 per cent of people aged 16 and over. Twelve per cent of the lower age group said they had volunteered in the previous three months, compared with 18 per cent of adults.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said he was not surprised by the lack of awareness of disability charities because there was no market-leading charity in that area.

He said the research showed that young people were interested in and engaged with charities while still at school, which was good news for the charities they supported.

"The bad news is for those charities and causes that aren’t naturally well known among young people or can’t afford to invest in schools and youth work," he said. "They might spend the next 20 years trying to catch up with the brand awareness and levels of support being formed with some charities in schools."

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