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Half of people want charities to campaign on political issues, report shows

Melanie May | 29 September 2023 | News

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Half of people (51%) say they want charities to campaign on political issues, according to the latest research from Enthuse.

This is greater among younger generations – 64% of under 45s support charity political involvement while 61% of over 45s don’t. 

The latest edition of the quarterly Donor Pulse research also shows that charities that do get involved in the political arena and receive criticism as a result, also receive donations in support, particularly from younger people. In the last six months, one in five (18%) people overall have taken part in this ‘inverse giving’ but nearly two in five (37%) of 18-24 year olds.


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The research also shows that under 45s are more likely to support LGBTQIA+, ethnic minority, and migrant causes. 

Trust levels

Overall, 6 out of 10 (59%) people say that they believe charitable organisations are the most effective at standing up for those in disadvantaged circumstances – more than double those who said central or local government (28%).

The average trust score in charities is at 6.94/10, with nearly half (45%) scoring their trust between 8 and 10, and two thirds (67%) believing the government should provide more funding to good causes.

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

“In the last few weeks, there’s been debate about the extent to which charities should involve themselves in politics. Particularly as a general election edges closer and environmental issues hit the headlines. The research tells us that the public is split down the middle on charities interjecting, although it’s worth noting that younger people are more likely to support charities engaging in political discourse. They’re also more likely to donate to good causes that receive criticism for speaking on politically charged issues – something for charities to be aware of.


“The encouraging news for causes is that there is a healthy level of trust in their work and they’re seen as the best people to help those in need. That suggests that their role in society is understood and appreciated. When it comes to whether a charity should get involved in politics or not, the data tells us that they will receive some support for campaigning on issues that are relevant to their cause.”

Enthuse chart. Sept 2023

Cost of giving

The number of people feeling worse off is below 50% for the first time in a year. According to Enthuse, under 45s are improving more quickly, with 27% feeling better off and 44% feeling worse off. 

Food prices are the leading concern, followed by energy prices, while this quarter has seen a rise in concerns over mortgage and rent payments – up eight percentage points to 37% of people. The prospect of a recession is now a concern for one in five (20%) and job security for around one in six people (16%).

However, 71% still plan to donate to charity in the next quarter and 86% of those who have given in the last three months plan to give again over the coming quarter.