The 2015 JGFR Sports Report shows a big jump in public support for the sports charity sector which is emerging as a newish kid on the block with growing government interest in the sector.
Nearly two-thirds of adults would support a charity that makes a difference to young peoples’ lives through sport, up from around 45% in previous years. This year far more young people are supportive with many of them among the 47% of adults who have raised funds for a charity through an activity /event.
Overall 77% of adults support one or more charities with around a quarter intending making a lump sum donation in the next 12 months, up from around 1 in 5 in 2014, but well down on 1 out of 3 in 2010. A noticeable shift is in fewer older donors which may reflect a squeeze on pension income.
A number of charities have a celebrity figurehead, with a number of sports stars wanting to give back through charity involvement. Among the public only a minority (8%) are more likely to support a charity with a celebrity figurehead, although this rises to a quarter among 16-22 year olds.
Many sports charities are small and reliant on grants to fund their activities; approaching two-thirds of the public believe corporate brands have a major role to play in working with charities. Significantly, around three-quarters of the better off and the non-retired are more supportive of
corporates working closely with charities. For corporates such partnerships enable their staff to reach out into their communities and help disadvantaged groups.
As in past years the 2015 Sports Report examines aspects of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics legacy. Overall there is greater belief in a sporting legacy than in 2013, with 64% of adults believing this to be the case, compared to 57% in 2013.
Where there is some tailing off in the Olympics effect is in volunteering. Just 5% of adults have become a volunteer in sport / community activity as a result of London 2012, compared to 8% in 2013 and 16% intending to volunteer immediately after the Games.
With a growing focus on sports participation post the Olympics, around a quarter of adults believe they are more physically active than before London 2012, although the majority of the population by definition are equal or less active.
2015 has seen greater focus on getting greater numbers of women to participate in sport. Nearly two-thirds of the public agree that getting more girls and young women to participate in sport / dance should be an objective for the new government.
With a new Sports Strategy being drawn up that will bring together the various government departments with an interest in sport, the public are very much behind the devolved idea that towns / cities / county councils promote healthy living and well-being. A massive 88% of adults (92%, 23-29 year olds) supported the statement. Its implementation should help reduce worker absenteeism and boost productivity.
Sport for development – beyond sport
This year’s Sports Report also considers the rise of Sport for Development and how major sportsteams are engaging to a much greater degree with their communities, and the role that corporates are playing as they too seek to be good citizens.
It offers an insight into the themes that came out from this year’s Beyond Sport* conference in London that brought together a range of charities, corporates, governing bodies, sports stars and politicians in discussing many of the challenges that society faces.
The Report’s conclusion was that despite the fracturing of trust in major sporting bodies, sport for development is here to stay. Sport is the most important tool for the social builder. Timing its use is the crucial issue, especially in conflict resolution.
Commented John Gilbert Chief Executive of JGFR:
“There is no doubt that London 2012, especially the Paralympics, helped transform peoples’ views about the role that sport, in all its formats, can play in changing lives. This year’s Sports Report reflects the surge in the public support for the work of sports charities, which are leaders in the growing global sport for development sector”