How your view on Brexit reflects the charities you support

PUBLISHED: 16:24 22 August 2017

A think tank has called for tariff free trading once the UK leaves the European Union. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

A think tank has called for tariff free trading once the UK leaves the European Union. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

A new study explores how and why the favoured charitable causes of Leave and Remain voters differ.

The great British public are a charitable bunch. But people do not give out their hard-earned cash equally, and they prefer certain charities. A new study I led suggests that a person’s political views and attitudes towards their own country – and whether they voted for or against Brexit – can explain which causes they support.

We asked 1,004 members of a UK nationally representative consumer panel how much they agreed with a range of statements. Some of these statements were aimed at assessing their national identity, such as “If one feels loyal to one’s country, one should strive to mend its problems” and others their political attitudes, such as “Overseas development aid contributes to a more peaceful and equal world”. We also posed questions about their newspaper readership, preferred charitable causes and how they voted in the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU. Our results show that, similar to the referendum results, 51.2% of respondents voted Leave, with 48.8% Remain and a small number who chose not to say.

Overall, while 54% of respondents indicated that they trusted local charities, the picture for international causes was far less positive. Only 31% of people said they trusted international charities with only 26% intending to donate to an international cause in the future.

A local charity’s work is usually more visible locally than work undertaken across continents, and supporting such causes may help somebody feel part of their local community. But those who voted Remain in the referendum were more likely to trust and donate to international causes in the future.

The survey also included questions measuring the extent to which individuals are patriotic (show a care for their country), nationalistic (seek dominance over other countries) and internationalistic (more concerned with global welfare). Statements here ranged from those which indicated national superiority – “For me, the United Kingdom is the best state in the world” – to those concerning international cooperation – “We should be more willing to share our wealth with other nations, even it if does not necessarily coincide with our political interests”.

From these questions, our respondents were most likely to be patriots (62%) followed by nationalists (47%) or internationalists (45%). Nationalists and patriots showed a positive preference for domestic charities and a neutral stance on international causes. This suggests that individuals with potentially xenophobic attitudes will prioritise home charities, but are not necessarily averse to helping out global causes – provided this does not compromise their own country’s well-being.

In contrast, internationalists supported international charities but were very negative towards domestic causes. From this it appears to be far harder to persuade someone who self-identifies as a “global citizen” to give to domestic charities. Their perceptions of global inequality and severity of need appear more powerful than any desire to help fellow nationals.

The survey also demonstrated that the way people voted in the UK’s referendum on EU membership is a powerful predictor of their donation preferences. Leave voters were more likely to be nationalist, more ethnocentric in their charitable giving and also support austerity policy as a means of reducing national debt.

Remain voters, on the other hand, were more likely to be internationalist, positive towards international charities and supportive of overseas aid. This would suggest that if you know how someone voted in the EU referendum, you can with some confidence predict what sorts of causes they are most likely to support – a handy trick for charities with limited fundraising budgets.

Bringing the data together, the findings indicate the existence of six distinct clusters who vary based upon their charitable giving, political and national attitudes. For example, the “educated liberals” are professionals with a global outlook, pro-Remain attitudes and high trust in all charities – although don’t expect them to donate to causes for the armed forces or emergency services. Similarly, “young urban altruists” have an interationalistic mindset but also display patriotic sentiments, making them a potential target for both domestic and international charities.

On the other hand, the “anti-EU nationalists” harbour right-wing political views, read the Mail, Daily Express and the Sun, are typically less likely to donate to charity but display strong preferences for domestic causes. Although not as nationalistic, “home-first casuals” are also likely to have voted Remain and be more supportive of domestic charities.

“Cautious pragmatists” accounted for 33% of our respondents and describe those people who are less politically engaged. Although they have lower levels of trust in charities than other groups they do donate a modest amount. For those charities after a group to avoid altogether in fundraising terms: beware the “disengaged cynics” who favour domestic over international causes but tend not to trust (or donate to) charities at all.

Our research shows that while some people believe that charity begins at home but can extend to other countries, others feel that charity begins and ends further afield. Targeting the right group of people is crucial for charities who want to fundraise effectively.

David Hart is principal lecturer in marketing at Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University; this article also appears at www.theconversation.com

Support The New European's vital role as a voice for the 48%

The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.

  • Become a friend of The New European for a contribution of £48. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish)
  • Become a partner of The New European for a contribution of £240. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook
  • Become a patron of The New European for a contribution of £480. You will qualify for a mention in our newspaper (should you wish) and receive a New European Branded Pen and Notebook and an A3 print of The New European front cover of your choice, signed by Editor Matt Kelly

By proceeding, you agree to the New Europeans supporters club Terms & Conditions which can be found here.



Supporter Options

Mention Me in The New European



If Yes, Name to appear in The New European



Latest Articles

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

We have a number of set phrases in English which we use in a rather automatic and semi-obligatory way at particular times and in specific social situations – such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’, ‘happy birthday’ and ‘happy new year’.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Scotland's three biggest parties have all experienced sudden jolts in recent weeks. MAURICE SMITH reports on the tectonic plates shifting once again north of the border

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A fitting 48 times the hapless foreign secretary, currently backtracking from his bungled attempt to topple Theresa May, outraged with his thoughtless comments and ill-judged actions

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Lib Dems have stepped back from the Brexit cliff-edge.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Despite its devastating impact, Hurricane Irma passed with only a handful of deaths yet received wall-to-wall media coverage. On the other side of the world, floods have left a far higher death toll, yet reporting has been sparse. LIZ GERARD asks what is behind this apparent hypocrisy and what it says about us

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sir Vince Cable is to set out his bid to scupper Brexit by declaring “I am a proud saboteur”.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Imagine a town studded with watchtowers like San Gimignano in Tuscany, but set high on a plateau, 100 miles from the nearest centre of population.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A top Brexit Whitehall official has been moved out of the Department for Exiting the EU amid rumours of a rift with David Davis.

Monday, September 18, 2017

The venerable Dr Johnson described patriotism as “the last refuge of the scoundrel”.

Monday, September 18, 2017

It might not have grabbed the world's attention yet but, says AURORA TORRES, the over-exploitation of sand is a looming crisis for the globe, causing environmental destruction, putting communities at risk and sparking illegal black markets

Monday, September 18, 2017

The lights are going out in comments sections all over the world.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd today accused her Cabinet colleague Boris Johnson of "back-seat driving" as the row over his Brexit intervention deepened.

Monday, September 18, 2017

I couldn’t make it to the March For Europe last Saturday; perhaps this dereliction of duty means my Remoaner licence has now been revoked and I must now be demoted to Regrumbler or Rewhiner.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Angela Merkel may be on course for victory but her campaign for the German chancellorship is not the stately procession it might seem from afar. TONY PATERSON joins her on a decidedly bumpy election trail

Monday, September 18, 2017

Thousands of anti-Donald Trump posters inspired by Second World War public information designs have been plastered across Washington DC.

Friday, September 15, 2017

“Trees are sanctuaries,” wrote the German author and poet Hermann Hesse. “Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.”

Friday, September 15, 2017

BONNIE GREER on the conviction that you can have your cake and eat it

Thursday, September 14, 2017

A legitimisation of radical right-wing ideology is taking place around the world. The world was shocked by the events in Charlottesville, America, and by Donald Trump’s failure to condemn racist violence.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

RICHARD PORRITT with the week's big stories

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Mancunian musician Mark Reeder arrived in Berlin in 1979 and never looked back.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Britain will "soon regret" leaving the EU, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has warned in his annual state of the union speech.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Right, so where are we now then?

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un are playing a very dangerous game of nuclear poker, argues Paul Connew. But does either leader have the cards that could avoid destruction?

Monday, September 11, 2017

When Muslim feminist SEYRAN ATES opened a liberal mosque in Berlin this summer she was met with a barrage of death threats and fatwas. But she says she is undeterred in her campaign to use enlightenment values to defeat extremism – in all forms

Monday, September 11, 2017

Many of the materials we use derive their names from the towns they were first made in. PETER TRUDGILL explores the stories behind some of the best-known

Monday, September 11, 2017

Theresa May’s insistence that she is sticking around as PM may have been met with scepticism and incredulity, but PR agent MARK BORKOWSKI argues her reboot may yet work

Monday, September 11, 2017

His stricken condition fuels macabre speculation, but Michael Schumacher’s real legacy is the remarkable run of Grand Prix dominance which began 25 years ago. ROB BURNETT reports

Friday, September 8, 2017

Writer, April 17, 1885 - September 7, 1962

Friday, September 8, 2017

For comedian MITCH BENN, Theresa May’s attempts to extend her political life put him in mind of his favourite film, Blade Runner. Here, he goes on the trail of Downing Street’s replicant

Sunday, September 10, 2017

An estimated 50,000 passionate Remainers marched on Parliament yesterday demanding the Government reverse its Brexit strategy.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Tony Blair today made an explosive intervention in the Brexit debate, calling for tough new immigration rules which would allow Britain to stay in the EU.

Monday, September 11, 2017

British identity is fragmented like never before, with the rise of pop-up populism dividing people into “them” and “us”. Author PETER POMERANTSEV takes a deeply personal journey through Britain to find out what it means for the country

Friday, September 8, 2017

A refusal to confront its past leaves France facing an uncertain future, argues MARTIN EVANS

Friday, September 8, 2017

Al Jazeera may have its flaws, but its persecution is seriously bad news for the world, says PAUL KNOTT

Friday, September 8, 2017

If you’re looking for a phrase to describe the change in newspaper print circulations this year, it might well be “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”. The latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) demonstrate that only the Metro managed to increase its print circulation year-on-year, with every single other national title recording a fall.

Friday, September 8, 2017

It’s not just back to school for the nation’s children, this week, but also for politicians and British business.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Modern Germany has a very different political and media culture to our own, and some of that was on display in Sunday’s ‘TV-Duell’ between Chancellor Angela Merkel and her SDP challenger Martin Schulz.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

STEVE ANGLESEY picks out the worst Brexiteers of the week

Thursday, September 7, 2017

RICHARD PORRITT on the week's big stories

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Britain's chances of being ready to begin EU trade negotiations by the next round of trade talks in October are "in the neighbourhood of zero", former European Council president Herman van Rompuy warned today.

Podcast

Trending

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter