Most consumers think businesses should support charities and nearly half are more likely to buy from companies that donate to good causes, according to a study commissioned by Foresters, the financial services organisation.
The survey of 1,100 people from across the UK found that 89 per cent thought businesses should support charities and their local communities, and 59 per cent that companies that did so would benefit from increased profits.
When faced with a choice between two companies that offered products and services for the same price, 82 per cent said their decision would be affected by whether a company engaged with charities and its local community.
Nearly half (47 per cent) said they would be more likely to buy from companies that donated money to charity, and 53 per cent said they were more likely to buy from businesses that did good work in their local communities. Forty per cent said the promotion of green and environmental issues was important to them.
The survey, carried out by the PR consultancy Wriglesworth Research, found that 74 per cent of respondents said their workplace had an effective corporate social responsibility programme, and 21 per cent regularly took part in charitable activities through their jobs.
Of the 26 per cent of people who said their workplace did not have an effective CSR programme, all said they would like one to be introduced.
Stephen Dilworth, UK membership director of Foresters, said: "The corporate benefits of engaging with charities and the local community are clear: not only does it help businesses to build successful customer relationships, but it also directly increases revenue because consumers actively choose to buy from companies that publicly engage with charities and support their local areas."