Civic Life Today: The State of Global Civic Engagement

Apr 07, 2022
  • Description

In May 2020, Points of Light released its first piece of research on the state of American civic engagement. This year, we're excited to have expanded our report to a global scope. This report evaluated markets in Brazil, India, the United Kingdom and the United States. It helps us understand similarities and differences in engagement around the world and begin a conversation about what we can learn from each other.

The civic actions that dominated around the world were a mix of traditional and non-traditional engagement pathways, demonstrating people's desire to engage in whatever way they could as COVID-19 affected more traditional ways of engagement. Globally, the top three civic actions taken, as defi ned by Points of Light's Civic Circle, were listening and learning, using your voice and volunteering. 

When we added the "Listen & Learn" element to Points of Light's Civic Circle, we did so because we believe the basis of every civic action should be rooted in a deep understanding of the issue. Taking action without listening and learning to the affected communities can do deep harm, while taking action after listening and learning can make your actions more effective.

Though the growth around listening and learning is promising, this report also shows that volunteering is still among the most important civic activities, with 48% of global respondents volunteering by intentionally helping someone within the last 30 days. Markets like Brazil and India in particular show continued energy around and commitment to volunteering. This data confi rms our observations from Points of Light's Global Network affi liates and other global convenings that still position volunteering as a cornerstone of civic engagement.

Also notable in this report is the mandate for companies to lead when it comes to social issues in the world today. 90% of respondents in Brazil and 95% of respondents in India expect companies to "do something related to a social issue." Those numbers are essentially representative of the entire population. This expectation cannot be ignored. But this leadership must be authenticated by companies looking internally and ensuring corporate policies and practices are aligned with external messaging and initiatives. 

Civic Life Today: The State of Global Civic Engagement