A joint survey by UniCredit Bank and SteiGen revealed how aware people in Hungary are of the concept of ESG and what sustainability means to them. The research also showed that 16% of the respondents attributed sustainability to the donation of consumer goods. People are keen to help others, but what factors influence their decisions to donate?
ESG (E: environmental; S: social; G: governance) makes the work done for sustainability visible and measurable for medium and large companies. The joint survey showed that only 12% of Hungarians are familiar with the concept of ESG, and even fewer with its social and governance aspects. In terms of sustainability, 73% of respondents cited environmental protection, 66% conscious consumption and 16% donated consumer goods.
The results clearly show that among the social initiatives in the ESG ‘S’ area, donations top the list in terms of both awareness (54%) and participation (36%).
However, experiences with donations are mixed, with more than half of respondents not believing that their donations are going to the right place. This explains why they are most likely to support local initiatives. They say that their activity is positively influenced if they know the initiators of the initiative, who may be friends, acquaintances, local businesses, organizations, educational or church institutions, Facebook pages they know and groups they are members of. "It is good if you help a specific person or foundation, whose activities and situation you have real information about", said one of the participants in the research during the focus group discussions. "People are happy to support such initiatives if they have some kind of personal connection with the organization or with the specific cause," said another respondent during the face-to-face interviews.
Respondents have many bad personal experiences with donations, especially monetary ones, so they are most likely to get involved in national initiatives if a well-known organization is running the campaign. These are the donation lines and fundraising efforts of large, nationally known aid organizations, while trust in smaller or newly established organizations takes longer to build.
Another characteristic of national initiatives, according to the survey, is that they are campaign-like; and Hungarians are more willing to participate in one-off initiatives than in those that require regular commitment. One-off opportunities, such as donating 1% of tax, campaigns timed to Christmas or specific events, or aid campaigns picked up by the media.
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