Bill rounding for charity - Are consumers happy to help or forced to donate?
May 17th, 2024, Lesley Simeon

Bill rounding for charity - Are consumers happy to help or forced to donate?

By opting to round up your next grocery bill or online purchase to the nearest dollar, you can contribute small but meaningful amounts to a cause you care about. Moreover, the larger picture suggests the contributions aren’t so small after all - donations made in the US via point-of-sale fundraising campaigns, including ‘round up for charity’ reportedly nearly doubled between 2021 and 2022, adding up to millions.

But donations and good karma aside - are consumers happy when they’re requested by brands and businesses to round up their bills for charity? The story is not a clear one.

More than a third (36%) of consumers in the 17 markets we polled say they are unhappy when asked to round up bills for charitable causes making them the largest group. They are closely matched, however by those who don't’ have strong feelings one way or another - 35% are neither happy nor unhappy about being asked.

About two in ten consumers across our markets (21%) are happy about such requests - a sentiment stronger among younger consumers.

So does age affect views on this one?

More than a quarter (27%) of consumers in the youngest cohort we survey (18-to-24-year-olds) are happy to round up bills for charity - the most likely across all age groups to say so. Conversely, the oldest of the lot - consumers aged 55 years and above - are the most likely (44%) to not take well to brands’ requests for rounding up bills.

Moving on to data from individual markets:

UAE (44%) and India (40%) top our list of markets where consumers are most likely to be happy to round up bills for charity, followed by Indonesia (37%) and Mexico (28%).

In Europe, consumers in Spain (22%) and Italy (21%) are most likely to be happy when asked to round up bills too.

Right at the bottom of the list – Danes (8%) and Americans (12%) are the least likely to be happy to entertain such requests from brands. In Great Britain, 14% of consumers are happy to oblige as well.

Danes (47%), Brits (46%) and French (45%) are among consumers across markets who are the most unhappy when asked by brands to round up bills for donations. In Asia, Hong Kongers (35%) are the most unhappy with such asks.

As for those who are neither happy nor unhappy when brands approach them with rounding-up-of-bills requests, Singaporeans (47%) account for the largest proportion across markets, followed by Hong Kongers (42%).

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Methodology: YouGov
Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from
nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 17
markets with sample sizes varying between 500 and 2002 for each market. All surveys were
conducted online in February 2024. Data from each market uses a nationally representative
sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and
Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn
more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Photo by Katt Yukawa on Unsplash