In the Public Eye: snapshot of public attitudes towards civil society

To mark the launch of the Law Family Commission on Civil Society, we commissioned YouGov to provide a snapshot of public attitudes towards civil society in November 2020.

What do people think about the role of civil society and the voice it should have in national and local decision making? What are its strengths and where could it do better? How many people have supported or been helped by charities and community groups through the Covid crisis, and what role should those organisations play in the subsequent recovery?

The results of this survey show how highly valued charities are and what a crucial role they play supporting those in need. 20 million people across Great Britain (40 per cent) volunteered their time to help others during the national lockdown in Spring. 8 in 10 people (82 per cent) described the role of charities and community groups in supporting the country through the crisis as important. 60 per cent think the sector will play a key role in the country’s recovery. Charities and community groups are some of the most trusted organisations in the country and their role is clearly highly prized across society. But there is evidence that the public think there is room for improvement. Just under a third of adults (31 per cent) in Great Britain think that there are too many charities or community groups, and a similar proportion think the sector is “wasteful”. The majority of the public consider charities to be understaffed, and only half would describe them as “efficient”.

Thank you to YouGov for their support with this research. Please click here to view the full results tables published by YouGov.

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