Marketing & Communications

The Pandemic Changed the Attitude of Poles towards Charity. Why is this Important for Brands?

In the last decade, after the decline caused by the global crisis of 2009, we have observed a clear increase in the willingness to help among Poles, however, according to the World Giving Index ranking, we are still outside the world’s top. We perform best in terms of “donating money to charity”, but even in this respect we are in the middle of the world ranking – 68th place. In 2018 74% of Poles declared donating money to charity, 62% donated things to charity, 21% helped others with their work and 7% engaged in voluntary work.

One-time rush

The percentage of the so-called permanent donors in our country is small – according to the quoted World Giving Index, the share of Poles who regularly supported charities financially did not exceed 30%.  

According to the available data, Polish philanthropy is still more spontaneous, “from a heartbeat” and “under the influence of the moment” than systematic and planned. According to Citi Handlowy’s report from 2019, 59% of us intended to spend less than PLN 100 on charity during the Christmas period, 37% supported charity once and it was the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity [WOŚP], which, by the way, is our national phenomenon, but also the main stimulator of Polish philanthropy.

Charity in the times of Covid-19 – towards the locals

It turns out that the pandemic reality – social distance and movement restrictions, and additionally the fear of infection – has influenced the way and frequency of helping others. In the first months of the epidemic Poles engaged in charity a little less frequently than before, but it cannot be said that less effectively. At that time, more than half of the respondents in the survey “Charity and Covid-19” conducted for Orange declared that they donated material and financial resources as well as clothes and food. The direction of charity also changed – to a more local one, towards the elderly and help in the “fight against the coronavirus”, which unfortunately suffered from initiatives traditionally supported by countrymen, including those related to children and the sick.

Also the charities themselves felt the effects of the lockdown and decreased influence from the donations. The Klon/Jawor Association report entitled “Non-Governmental Organizations Facing a Pandemic” informs that about 50% of the foundations are struggling with the problem of financial stability and liquidity as well as problems in maintaining existing donors and sponsors and in conducting fundraising activities.

What philanthropic marketing gives brands

Companies for various reasons engage in charity marketing, the aim may be to increase sales, build the company’s image or expand the customer base. Such activities may bring positive effects consisting, for example, in increasing consumer satisfaction with brand CSR activities by strengthening branch resonance, which is one of the pillars of building brand value (brand equity). The current situation directs consumers’ attention to the local area, 45% of them declare that more often than before they pay more attention to the origin of products they buy. The same is true for supporting charity initiatives. Therefore, in order to achieve the best results from CSR activities, more than ever, brands should engage in solving problems that are close (also geographically) to their consumers, but always taking consistency with the values and area of competence that the brand represents into account.

Especially today, as marketers, we should consider actions aimed at helping people, institutions that suffer the most in the current situation: small businesses, senior citizens, health care. Below are just a few examples of such actions from recent months:

– #wspierampl [#ISupportPoland]- is a joint initiative of Polish brands, producers, designers and manufacturers, which encourage people to help during the pandemic by giving discounts on products

– joint collection of Allegro and WOŚP for the purchase of respirators for hospitals

– Grupa Żywiec supported restaurants and pubs by collecting unopened beer kegs free of charge

– Biedronka organized a program of joining volunteers and seniors (65+) in order to support people most at risk of coronavirus in their daily activities, e.g. shopping.

It is also worth supporting non-governmental organizations helping various groups in need, which are currently in a very difficult situation and often without the means to carry out their activities.


Survey “Charity and Covid-19” commissioned by Orange, Clone/Jawor Association Report “NGOs in the Face of the Pandemic”.
CBOS Report “Charity in Poland” 2016.
CBOS “Polish Activity and Experience in 2018”.
World Giving Index 2017.
Research for Citi Handlowy: Attitudes of Poles Towards Finance. How Can the upcoming Christmas Season Go to our Heads? 2019,
MillwardBrown report for Klon/Jawor 2016.
Taking Advantage: Consumer Psychology and Advertising, Richard F. Taflinger
The Effect on Philanthropic Marketing on Brand Resonance and Consumer Satisfaction of CSR Performance. Does Media Self-Regulation Matter? Tracy Tsui-Hsu Tsai, Arthur Jing Lin, Eldon Y. Li,barometr-covid-19-zakupy-w-erze-post-covid-przeniosa-sie-do-sieci