Young people think that their spending power is a more effective way of benefiting society than their vote, according to a new NOP poll commissioned by learning disability charity Mencap.
Of the survey group of under-25s, more than half said that using their money in an ethical way was more likely to bring about social change than voting for a political party.
The survey also showed that 68 per cent of the same age group would consider investing money in financial schemes run by charities.
"This poll shows that young people have more confidence in charities than in government," said Jim Swindells, acting director of fundraising and marketing at Mencap.
"Young people respond very positively to social philanthropy as an alternative to the traditional cash donation, and social investment schemes are a tremendous opportunity for charities to help cultivate relationships with supporters from an early age," he said.
The poll was commissioned to promote Mencap's new housing bond, which the charity hopes will provide it with social capital to tackle the severe shortage of housing for people with learning disabilities.
Mencap's poll also revealed that 76 per cent of people find it unacceptable that adults with a learning disability have little choice about where they live.
"We hope the results of this research means that our housing bond will be successful in pulling in donations from our supporters and the wider public," said Swindells.