A recent Ipsos survey has detected a sharp increase in Canadians’ interest in the causes supported by the companies with which they do business.
“We’ve conducted this study for four years now, and this year was unique. We’ve seen more significant changes in the past 12 months than any other time,” said Jessica Avery, Canadian vice president of Ipsos Marketing in a release.
“Times are changing when it comes to doing well by doing good, and the companies that respond to these changes will see the benefit.”
The poll conducted late last summer found that since 2016, there have been significant increases in the number of Canadians who are very interested in what causes companies support (50 per cent, up four points), are loyal to brands that sponsor good causes (48 per cent, up four points), and always pay attention to which causes companies support (41 per cent, up six points), the Ipsos report says.
“Canadians are in a bit of a funk. We are more worried than ever about our futures, and this plays out in our increasing expectations of companies,” Avery said.
“Canadians are looking to all sectors to have strong cause-related programs, with significant increases in the expectations of having a strong program for financial institutions (56 per cent, up four points) and alcohol companies (43 per cent, up five points).
Respondents said they think first of Canadian Tire (13 per cent), Tim Horton’s (12 per cent), and McDonald’s (seven per cent) when it comes to companies that give back, which was consistent with previous surveys.
The study, released at the 2018 Companies & Causes Canada conference, also looked at the role trust plays in corporate social initiatives.
Canadians want companies to be transparent and accountable for where donation money goes (26 per cent) as well as set an example by also donating to the cause (27 per cent).
“Simply put, Canadians want businesses to do the same as what they are asking their customers to do — support the causes and put their money where their mouth is,” Avery said.
While Canadians are expecting more from companies when it comes to working at the intersection of purpose and profit, they also are expecting more of themselves in 2017, the Ipsos poll found.
More Canadians have participated in a business-sponsored cause initiative event in the past month vs. in 2016 (52 per cent, up five points).
They are also taking a greater interest in the causes their employers support, which influenced the employee’s perceptions of the company for which they work.
“We’ve conducted this study for four years now, and this year was unique. We’ve seen more significant changes in the past 12 months than any other time. Times are changing when it comes to doing well by doing good, and the companies that respond to these changes will see the benefit,” said Avery.
The poll was conducted from Aug. 28 to Sept 8, 2017 of 1,071 Canadian adults aged 18 years and over.