The proportion of people who list children’s charities among their favourite causes has plummeted over the past decade, new figures show.
The research consultancy nfpSynergy has been regularly polling members of the public on their favourite cause areas, with cancer, animals, and children and young people usually in the top three.
But it said today that the proportion of people who named children and young people as one of their top causes had fallen from 42 per cent in 2010 to 23 per cent in its latest polling, which was conducted in November.
The consultancy said most cause areas suffered a dip in popularity during the pandemic last year, but the outbreak seemed to have exacerbated the fall in popularity for children and young people’s charities.
“Covid-19 has made it extremely difficult for charities not intimately related to the pandemic to maintain relevance in the public eye, which might well be behind this recent trend. However, animal charities have managed to maintain that connection, despite not being obviously linked,” nfpSynergy said in a statement.
“Children’s charities have dropped to a point now where non-cancer health charities are just one point away, on 22 per cent.
“The popularity of health charities has remained relatively stable despite the pandemic, so this is another concerning indicator that children’s charities are simply becoming less prominent in the public’s mind.”
The consultancy said that although health charities had been unable so far to capitalise on the current climate and increase as a favourite cause during the pandemic, “with public health set to remain top of agenda for the rest of the year (and beyond), it is highly likely this sector could cement a position among the top three favourite causes with the public”.
It warned that 16 per cent of the sample said they did not have any favourite charities, second only to the 17 per cent figure recorded in August last year.
“During a year in which the reliance on charities has increased and the sector has played a key role in providing much-needed support, advice and services, this is worrying evidence that the public have become less engaged with charities overall,” nfpSynergy said.
The consultancy usually polls about 1,000 respondents for each survey.