Christmas Survey image

Charitable spirit alive after difficult year as global survey shows over three quarters of people want to focus on those who need help this Christmas

  • Over three quarters (76%) of people surveyed said it was important to focus on people in need of help this Christmas  
  • A majority of people in six countries have either maintained or increased their charitable giving despite financial impacts of the pandemic 
  • Almost two thirds (63%) of respondents said they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help others this Christmas, rather than a traditional gift such as clothes or electronics 

The results of a new multi-country survey commissioned by World Vision International in ten countries has found that despite a difficult year many people are searching for ways to help or give back.  

Despite the financial impacts of the pandemic, almost two thirds (63%) of respondents said they would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help others this Christmas, rather than a traditional gift such as clothes or electronics. Many people have also maintained or increased their charitable donations; only India, Lebanon, and South Africa have seen a decrease in the overall numbers of people giving to charity, however 3 in 10 people in those countries have started to volunteer locally instead of donating.  

World Vision International President and CEO Andrew Morley said: “This year has been a difficult one for all of us around the world and vulnerable children have been especially affected. It’s heart-warming to see the giving spirit is still alive globally, and encouraging to see how much people want to help one another.”  

“I was moved to hear that it was in some of the countries where people have been worst affected by the pandemic or other catastrophes – South Africa, India, and Lebanon – people are still thinking about helping others. It proves that despite the challenges this year has brought, the majority of people want to prioritise kindness to others and selflessness, even when things are difficult in their own lives.” 

As the festive season approaches and successful vaccine trials are announced, people everywhere are also feeling more hopeful that 2021 will be better than 2020 (67%) and we can put the worst of the pandemic behind us (69%). South Africans are especially positive (90% hope 2021 will be better) and British are most doubtful we've made it through the worst of the pandemic (however, more than half are still hopeful at 52%). 

The survey also found that the power of connection has been incredibly important for everyone this year with 70% stating that the thought of spending time with family and friends this Christmas is what is bringing them hope. It is also a time when people are focusing on giving back to others. Over three quarters of people surveyed said it was important to focus on people in need of help this Christmas.  

“The best way to bring hope and joy as this year ends is to make it count by helping others. World Vision is blessed to be supported by millions of Child Sponsors and donors all over the world who have made such a difference to the lives of vulnerable children, helping them achieve their God-given potential, and we would not be able to carry out our life changing work without them. After the year we have all endured it is heartening to see that while this Christmas may be different for most, goodwill and Christmas spirit is still alive and strong,’ said Mr. Morley. 

ENDS.  

Note to editor  

World Visionis a Christian humanitarian organisation dedicated to working with children, families and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of poverty andinjustice.World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.  For more information, please visit www.wvi.org or follow us on Twitter @WorldVision   

World Vision’s Christmas campaign offers supporters a chance to make a positive impact on someone else’s life, giving back at the end of a difficult year and sponsoring a child. For more information about the campaign please visit: https://www.wvi.org/child-sponsorship/christmas-of-firsts     

For further information or to organise an interview, please contact:

Niamh Cooper |  Director of Media and Social Media Engagement | niamh_cooper@wvi.org | Skype: Niamh.cooper5 | Phone: +353 87 942 3371

Survey results reflect responses to a series of questions asked in nine countries by YouGov PLC between 19th November and 2nd December 2020 on behalf of World Vision International. The survey was conducted online and all figures have been weighted to be representative of adults 18+ in each country. 

Statements marked * were also asked by an Ipsos poll in Canada conducted between October 30th- November 2nd, on behalf of World Vision Canada. A sample of 1,003 Canadians aged 18 years and over was interviewed.  

The dates, countries and representative sample for the countries polled by YouGov are as follows: 

  • Australia: Total sample size was 1001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th - 30th November 2020. 
  • France: Total sample size was 1015 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th - 26th November 2020. 
  • Germany: Total sample size was 2169 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th - 26th November 2020. 
  • India: Total sample size was 1001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 24th - 29th November 2020. 
  • Lebanon: Total sample size was 263 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th November - 2nd December 2020. 
  • Mexico: Total sample size was 1013 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 27th November 2020. 
  • South Africa: Total sample size was 902 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd - 26th November 2020. 
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: Total sample size was 2114 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 20th November 2020. 
  • United States of America: Total sample size was 1186 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 23rd November 2020. 

The survey questions were: 

  • This Christmas season, I'm hopeful we've made it through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • I'm finding hope in planning time with family and friends this Christmas season 
  • I would prefer to receive a meaningful gift that would help someone else this Christmas season, rather than another traditional gift (e.g. clothes, electronics, books etc.)* 
  • We need to spend more time during the Christmas focusing on those who need our help (e.g. the homeless, vulnerable, elderly etc.)* 
  • The Christmas season will be a much-needed distraction from the challenges of 2020* 
  • I am optimistic that 2021 will be a better year than 2020* 

For the following question, by "charitable donations" we specifically mean monetary donations. Thinking about donating to charity since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic (i.e. January 2020) compared to before...Which, if any, of the following changes have you made to your charitable donations due to the COVID-19 pandemic? (Please select all that apply. If you have not made any changes, please select the "Not applicable" option)  

  • I have cut back on all of my charitable donations  
  • I am donating more money to international charities  
  • I am donating more money to domestic charities  
  • I am volunteering more in my local community instead of donating money to charity 
  • Other 
  • Don’t Know