Trust in charities surveyed around the UK

The Charity Commission (England and Wales) has published its latest research into trust and confidence in charities. This finds a fall to the lowest recorded level since monitoring began in 2005.

The report attributes the fall to

“critical media coverage of charity practices, distrust about how charities spend donations, and a lack of knowledge among the public about where their donations go. Perceptions of aggressive fundraising tactics have also contributed to the decline in trust.”

See official news release for more on the key points, or get the full report, appendices and infographic via ‘Public trust and confidence in charities 2016‘ publication page.

Sector reaction

Civil Society News has a round up of sector reaction. Also worth a read is the article from NCVO’s director of public policy ‘How charities are responding to the fall in public trust‘.

Scottish and N Ireland perspectives

Scotland saw a less marked fall in trust in charities, according to a new report from the Scottish charity regulator. The survey carried out for the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator saw confidence levels drop from 68% two years ago to 63%. See Third Force News for more.

OSCR’s own news item has links to the reports, of both public and charity surveys, in PowerPoint format or an infographic (pdf, 272KB). Key points include:

  • Levels of support for Scottish charities remain impressively high, with a quarter of the population volunteering and 9 out of 10 donating time, money or goods to charities.
  • Most people support charities where they have a personal connection.
  • A small overall decrease in trust was recorded, with negative media reports a contributing factor. However, overall trust remains strong and 8% of the public say that their trust has actually increased.
  • Public trust in charities is strongest among those with awareness of the charity regulator and those with the highest levels of interest in charities.
  • Among charities there is a strong increase in trusting the Regulator to treat them fairly, and high satisfaction scores for OSCR’s communication, particularly its website and online services.

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has announced that its own new research on the subject, carried out in a similar to that above, will be launched on 6th September.