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More than three quarters of UK workers want employers to play active role during UK disasters

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76% of employees want their employers to play an active role during UK disasters, including through donating and fundraising, according to new research released today by the National Emergencies Trust and Business in the Community (BITC).

In the aftermath of national crises, such as floods, terror attacks or another pandemic, the survey found that around a third of UK workers want their employer to provide wellbeing support to any colleagues who may be affected (32%). They also want them to step up for other people affected by donating items (32%), raising funds or making a donation (31%).


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

The survey by Opinium revealed that almost a third would also like support from their employer so that they and their colleagues can volunteer their time (29%) while a quarter (26%) would like their employer to help them and colleagues to fundraise for those affected.

Appeal Partners Programme launch

The findings are released today as the National Emergencies Trust launches its Appeal Partners Programme, which has been developed in collaboration with Business in the Community (BITC), and invites networked organisations and UK companies to raise awareness and funds during future emergencies.

The National Emergencies Trust already has Patrons that support it year-round, including Arnold Clark, Co-op, Christopher Laing Foundation, Clarion Housing Group, M&G plc, NatWest Group, Sky and Tesco. They also play an active part during its emergency fundraising appeals. 

The new Appeal Partners Programme will welcome wider companies and networks to offer short-term support during national emergencies. This could include offering use of their channels; and harnessing their colleagues and networks to raise awareness and funds. Arup, Barclays, Business in the Community (BITC), Crowdfunder UK and Royal Mail are the first Appeal Partners to join the Programme.

Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said: 

“This research reinforces the incredible appetite to help, that we saw during the pandemic when our Coronavirus Appeal benefitted from the expertise of hundreds of volunteers, while company fundraising contributed more than 40 per cent of the £100 million raised.


“We’ve developed the Appeal Partners Programme to build on this appetite. It invites companies and networks across the UK to stand alongside our incredible Corporate Patrons during future national emergencies. By pooling our collective resources, channels and expertise at speed, we can make a meaningful difference to people’s lives when it really matters.”

Mary Macleod, Chief Executive of Business in the Community, said:

“Whether it’s another pandemic or a nationwide cyber-attack, many of the risks the UK faces would have nationwide implications, meaning a whole-society response will be vital. Businesses have the expertise and networks to be central to this, so it’s essential to continue to create clear pathways for them to play their part. Many people want to volunteer and help when national disasters occur but don’t know how. The UK has nearly 33 million employees, meaning there is a clear societal benefit if employers encourage their teams to help others during a national disaster. National Emergencies Trust’s new programme will enable more employers to do this, and that’s why Business in the Community is proud to be a founding partner.”

More than a third (39%) of the 4,000 UK adults polled for the research also said helping out was a way for companies to show they care about the communities they serve, 37% said companies could show that they live their values, while 30% felt it was a way for companies to strengthen their culture.