Uh oh, apparently 40% of us are guilty of giving to charity for Instagram views

Whatever happened to not letting our left hand know what our right hand's up to?

giving to charity

Whatever happened to not letting our left hand know what our right hand's up to?

Remember the ice bucket challenge? Kicking off in the sweet summer of 2014, the campaign saw scores of us (including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates) pour literal buckets of ice cold water over our heads, while a friend or parent recorded the phenomenon, all in the name of charity.

And it sort of opened up the floodgates for social media based fundraising. From selfie challenges to sweaty post-5k run pics, we’ve become fairly accustomed to using Instagram to showcase our charitable deeds and persuade others to do the same.

While many would argue it’s a wonderful way to raise awareness and funds for worthy causes (the ice bucket challenge racked up over $115 million to help combat ALS), others are of the opinion that some people are out to simply promote, well, themselves.

And apparently a fair few of us are guilty of this.

Curious to discover the main reason people give to charity, Giving Assistant surveyed over 2,000 people to find out their motivations behind donating – and as many as 40% admitted to giving to charity simply so they could post about it on social media.

Scary, right? It’s not all bad though, as 35% revealed they give to charity in the hopes of inspiring others. From this point of view, we can see Instagram's potential to be a fantastic platform for promoting charitable causes – as people’s own actions can inspire friends, far and wide, to give to causes important to them.

And for most of us, social media has nothing to do with it. With 77% of us admitting to feeling a sense of duty to give back to a society juggling so many issues (such as the pandemic, incoming recession, poverty and climate change, to name a few…), our own personal values topped the list as being the main reason why most of us donate to charities.

The second most popular reason why participants donate was found to be due to their own personal and life changing experiences, with 72% revealing that losing a loved one to terminal illness or recovering from trauma helped educate them on what the help of a charity does.

As many as 57% of people said their charitable donations came down to celebrity influence, with the top three most influential public figures being listed as Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle and Barbara Streisand.

Curious to see what other motivations people have for giving to charity? Check out the full list below…

The main reasons Brits have for giving to charity:

1. Personal values - 77%

2. Believing in the cause - 72%

3. Celebrity influence - 67%

4. To feel good - 51%

5. For personal image/reputation - 43%

6. To feel like they have contributed to change - 41%

7. To post on social media - 40%

8. To influence others - 35%

9. Guilt - 17%

10. Faith/religion - 11%

Niamh McCollum

Niamh McCollum is Features Assistant at Marie Claire UK, and specialises in entertainment, female empowerment, mental health, social development and careers. Tackling both news and features, she's covered everything from the rise of feminist audio porn platforms to the latest campaigns protecting human rights.

Niamh has also contributed to our Women Who Win series by interviewing ridiculously inspiring females, including forensic scientist Ruth Morgan, Labour MP Stella Creasy and ITV’s former Home Affairs Editor Jennifer Nadel.

Niamh studied Law in Trinity College Dublin. It was after enrolling in a Law & Literature class on her year abroad in Toronto that her love of writing was reignited. In no particular order, her big likes are Caleb Followill, hoops, red wine, sea swimming, shakshuka and long train journeys.