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Charities Aid Foundation Civic Core Survey

ComRes interviewed 2,027 adults aged 18+ in the UK by online survey between 31st July and 1st August 2013. Data were weighted to be representative of all adults aged 18+ in the UK. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

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Date Published: 15 Sep 2013

Categories: Public and communities | Social | Third Sector | UK


ComRes undertook a survey for the Charity Aid Foundation (CAF) in July 2013, into people’s attitudes towards and their involvement with charities and social causes. The research focuses on the “Civic Core” – the minority of people in Britain (9%) who are responsible for the majority of the social action (responsible for the 66% of the charitable activities).

The survey identifies those characteristics that differentiate the “Civic Core” from the “Middle Ground Givers” (responsible for 34% of the charitable activities) and the “Zero Givers” (who account for a small contribution to charitable activities).

Firstly, members of the “Civic Core” have a greater sense of community spirit and civic duty than other groups. For instance, 91% of the “Civic Core” agree that voting is important, whilst 85% of “Middle Ground” and only 73% of “Zero Givers” agree with this.

Furthermore, members of the “Civic Core” are significantly more likely than other groups to support charities in a range of ways such as donating items or gifts, mentoring or visiting others, campaigning, and helping to organise an event.

Thirdly, members of the “Civic Core” have a more optimistic outlook on charities than other groups. For instance, 94% of the “Civic Core” agree that charities play an important role in our country, compared with 86% of the “Middle Ground” and 62% of “Zero Givers”.

Finally, people from the “Civic Core” are most likely to have friends and families who are also involved in social causes. For instance, 51% of the “Civic Core” say that most of their friends are involved in social causes, with the corresponding figure for the “Middle Ground” and “Zero Givers” being 29% and 7%.

To investigate the attitudes and characteristics of the Civic Core, a survey collected the responses of 2,027 people, aged 18 or over. The interviews were conducted in Great Britain by online survey between 31 July and 1 August 2013. The data were weighted to be representative of all UK adults aged 18+ in Great Britain. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.

If you want to know more and understand what this means for charities, look at CAF’s report into the “Civic Core”, available at


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