Over Half of Americans Say They Gave Back to Their Community for the First Time in 2020

The pandemic inspired Americans to do more for their neighbors and communities

SWNS couple
Photo: SWNS

A new study revealed over half of Americans (53%) gave back to their community and took action for the first time in their entire lives in 2020.

A survey of 2,000 general population Americans also found that, as a result of the pandemic, 68% of people felt more emotionally connected to their community than ever before.

Nearly as many (65%) said the pandemic provided them with the motivation they needed to get more involved in their communities. Sixty-seven percent said the pandemic caused them to give back to causes they care about more now than ever before.

Three-quarters of respondents said they either personally experienced or closely knew someone who experienced a life hardship — like losing a job, struggling financially, or not having access to food and water — due to the pandemic.

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For 70% of respondents who make an active effort to support local causes, those life hardships and tough situations are the main motivators to give back to the community.

Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Poland Spring® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, which recently announced "Made For A Better Tomorrow" — a national campaign that donates water to communities in need for every pledge to recycle — the study also found supporting social causes in the community is important to 68% of Americans.

Could community service go remote? Sixty-five percent of respondents said they'd be more willing to get involved in their communities if they didn't have to be physically present. Nearly as many (63%) would actually prefer to take action virtually, instead of in-person.

Of them, 62% would be more inclined to give back virtually because it's more accessible. For 57%, it's to minimize health risks. Even when good deeds are concerned, health is still a top priority.

The study also found more people aren't just giving back to the community, but are taking environmental action as well. Seventy percent say supporting environmental causes is important to them.

Sixty-four percent have noticed the past year's events also drove them to notice a big difference in their environmental habits. Of them, 93% have been recycling more since the pandemic began.

Nearly three-quarters (74%) have made an active effort to be more environmentally friendly this past year. Main motivations have included the environmental impacts they've seen firsthand (53%), it's part of their personality (49%) and to leave the world a better place (42%).

Overall, 69% of Americans say they take action for their environment and their community because it makes them simply feel good. So good, in fact, that 70% plan to keep up their good deeds after the pandemic at the same level as they do now.

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