COVID-19 Crisis: Where people are looking to help

Tricia Harte

By Tricia Harte

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are jumping into action. Whether it’s volunteering to bring meals to frontline healthcare workers or donating masks and personal protective equipment, many are seeking ways to help. 

As social distancing measures continue throughout the country, we asked the question: where has interest in lending a helping hand increased the most? To find out, we analyzed Google search volume in the 30 biggest metropolitan areas across the US.

Where people want to help during coronavirus

A Surge of Support

When we compared the beginning of the global pandemic to the end of March (when many states and cities started imposing social distancing measures), we saw tremendous increases in the number of people searching for ways to help. But some areas experienced more dramatic surges than others. 

Interest in small business help seems to be at the forefront of many Americans’ minds. In seven of the top 10 cities, searches like “support small business” and “small business help” saw the most dramatic increases. While two cities saw major spikes for blood donation-related efforts. 

The biggest increase happened in and around Denver, Colorado. Residents there appear to have jumped into action more than any other other major metropolitan area. Between January and March, searches related to helping during the pandemic skyrocketed by an average of 513%. The most popular, and most significant area where Denver’s population is looking to assist is with local businesses. Searches related to helping small businesses increased by 1600% in just two months. 

Following close behind Denver, is Baltimore, Maryland. By the end of March, Google searches related to Coronavirus-related causes were 446% higher, on average, than they were in January. Baltimore seems to have medical professionals on the mind; searches for “give blood” increased by 1000% during this time period. Rounding out the top five metros with the greatest surges in giving back are: Dallas, Texas which saw 425% more search volume, Indianapolis, Indiana, which experienced an average of 420% more searches, and Seattle, Washington, with 415% higher search volume. 

Methodology

We identified 18 search terms indicating some level of interest in donating and volunteering during the Coronavirus pandemic. Using Google AdWords we analyzed search trends in 30 major US metros between January and March 2020, and ranked the metros based on who experienced the greatest percentage increase in searches. 

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Lyndsey Maddox

Director of Business Development
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