Public less attracted to items that include charitable donation, research indicates

The proportion of people who say they have bought an item that included a charitable donation has tumbled over the past decade, new figures indicate. 

The research consultancy nfpSynergy said the findings indicated that a tie-up with a charity was becoming a “diminishing part of the corporate toolbox”.

The survey of 1,000 people, which was carried out by nfpSynergy in August, showed that the proportion who said they had bought a product that included a charitable donation was down from 50 per cent in 2010 to 32 per cent this year. 

Researchers also found that the proportion of people who said they felt more positive about a company that gave some of its proceeds to charity was down from 68 per cent in 2010 to 52 per cent in the latest study. 

The proportion of respondents who said they felt better knowing a charity had formed such a commercial partnership fell from 57 per cent to 43 per cent over the same period. 

Asked whether people were more or less likely to buy a product from a company that made a donation to a charity over one that did not, almost half of the respondents were either indifferent or did not know. Just 13 per cent said they would be more likely to purchase from a company that made a donation.

This means that it would be increasingly important for charities embarking on such partnerships to consider how the offers would stand out and appeal to a public that “might be less easily persuaded to buy such products than they were in the past”, nfpSynergy said. 

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said: “It's easy to imagine that charity partnerships with companies are at the heart of public awareness of corporate social responsibility. 

"But our latest research shows that they are slowly fading from public consciousness.

“We don’t know the reasons for this drop, but it's easy to imagine companies have been innovating in how they appear good corporate citizens, and a tie-up with a charity is a diminishing part of that corporate toolbox.”

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