Most people say celebrity endorsement does not affect donation decisions

A survey commissioned by Third Sector found that 69 per cent of respondents were neither more nor less likely to donate to a charity if a celebrity backed it

More than two-thirds of people say that celebrity endorsement of a charity campaign does not affect their willingness to donate to that appeal, research for Third Sector has found.

A representative survey of 1,830 people, carried out in December and January by Harris Interactive on behalf of Third Sector, found that 69 per cent of respondents said the involvement of a celebrity in a campaign made them neither more nor less likely to make a donation.

Researchers found that 18 per cent of respondents said they were more likely or much more likely to donate, while the remaining 13 per cent said celebrity endorsement made them less likely to give to that campaign.

The research was conducted for an article about charities’ use of celebrities in their work, which has been published in the latest edition of Third Sector.

The survey found that younger people were much more likely to be swayed by celebrity endorsement of a campaign than their senior peers, with 32 per cent of 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed saying it would make them more likely to donate, compared with just 9 per cent of those aged 45 and over.

But the proportion that said celebrity endorsement would make them less likely to donate remained fairly constant across all age groups, typically around 12 or 13 per cent.

While the majority of those surveyed accepted the involvement of celebrities in charity campaigns, they came out strongly against the notion of paying famous faces to give their backing to charities.

Seventy-three per cent of respondents said it was unacceptable for charities to pay celebrities to appear in their campaigns, with 19 per cent saying it was "somewhat acceptable" and the remaining 8 per cent saying it was very or extremely acceptable.

Older people were far more against the idea of paying celebrities than the younger generation, with 89 per cent of those aged 65 and over saying it was unacceptable, compared with 50 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

People in London were far less against the idea of celebrities being paid for supporting charities than any other region.

Almost a quarter of respondents in the capital said the idea was very or extremely acceptable, while only one other region scored more than 10 per cent in this area.

Read the full article here.

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