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Insights into public’s feelings about restarting in-person events revealed

With the government’s roadmap out of lockdown providing the opportunity to restart in-person fundraising events, a report from Enthuse has revealed insights into how the public may be feeling about these.

Among the 1,015 people surveyed for the third edition of Enthuse’s quarterly Donor Pulse report, three quarters (73%) of respondents said they still had some concerns about taking part in mass participation events in the next three to six months. However, 45% said they were happy to take part in hybrid events, while just over half (52%) would be encouraged to take part if they could choose whether they did it virtually or in-person.

Generally, the under 40s were the most interested in getting involved with events in the next six months, with 43% of 18–24 year olds and 45% of 25–39 year olds saying they were likely to get involved. This compares to 27% of 40-54 year olds, 13% of 55-64 year olds and 9% of 65-80 year olds.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

The type of event people said they were most interested in participating in is something ‘fun’, with 41% ranking this top overall, compared to 30% favouring a ‘challenge’ and 9% a ‘race’.

42% for example were interested in map-based virtual events, where participants run the distance of a famous course and have milestones flagged. On reasons to take part in map-based challenges, 44% said it sounded more fun than a normal virtual event, and 45% stated it was safer than a mass participation activity.


More key findings

Commenting on the research, Chester Mojay-Sinclare, Enthuse Founder and CEO, said:

“Charities have a lot to consider in their fundraising strategy as events begin to return. While the public wants to get involved and engaged with fundraising activities, they have mixed feelings about when and how to do so. Charities will need to find a balance to achieve communicating ‘having fun’ and ’staying safe’ to appeal to the broadest audience of supporters. As well as their events strategy, charities also need to start to think about a world focused around online donations. The pandemic has accelerated the shift away from hard cash to digital donations in all formats – this fundamental change should be at the heart of future fundraising strategies.”