More than 40% of Americans think companies and the U.S. government are equally responsible for taking positive steps to support Ukraine during its invasion by Russia, a new survey suggests.
And of the two-fifths of people who think corporations could be doing more to demonstrate support for Kyiv, 43% think their actions so far have come across as performative and inauthentic.
The data, released Wednesday, comes from a weighted survey of 1,000 people that was conducted in late April by Sparo, a Microsoft-partnered startup that helps companies solicit donations for causes when their customers buy goods or services.
Forty-three percent of respondents said responsibility for supporting Ukraine was shared equally between businesses and the Biden administration. Nearly 30% said it was mainly down to the government, while a negligible percentage said businesses were most responsible for a pro-Ukraine response.
A third of the survey’s respondents said U.S. businesses had done an “adequate job” of demonstrating support for Ukraine by speaking out, making financial commitments, or pulling out of Russia—nearly 1,000 companies have now curtailed their Russian operations to varying degrees, according to the latest tally from Yale’s Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team.
However, around the same proportion said companies could be doing more than they have already been doing. Those in this group tended to be young, well-educated, and highly paid.
When it came to the question of who bears responsibility for supporting Ukraine, those respondents in the 65-plus age bracket were most likely (at 48%) to say it was equally up to the U.S. government and American companies.
“With this new appetite for corporate accountability, it is likely we will see more and more consumers begin prioritizing or practicing more socially conscious purchasing,” Sparo CEO Rob Sobhani told Fortune. “Today’s consumers are smart—and will be able to tell when philanthropy is genuinely woven into a company’s DNA or as a core part of their brand ethos versus performative or self-serving in nature.”
Research conducted at the start of the war showed overwhelming support in the U.S. for businesses taking action to support Ukraine in its fight against Russia, though the Morning Consult survey also suggested an even split in consumer attitudes about whether corporations cutting Russian ties should do so permanently or temporarily.