NEWS3 July 2014

Majority think charities waste money on offices and rebrands

Charities News UK

UK — Two in three people think running London offices and rebranding the charity are a waste of donations, according to the latest research from nfpSynergy.


The study also shows that more than half of people feel confident that a charity spends well, if they veto first class travel for staff. The nationally representative poll of 1,000 adults showed that 69% of people feel London-based offices for charities are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful, with just 8% saying they were worthwhile. Rebranding provokes the same sentiment for 69% of people, with just 9% thinking them worthwhile.

However the need for promotion was understood, and more than half of people considered advertising worthy of spending money on and 61% felt the same about developing a website. Just under half think it’s worthwhile for charities to create magazines to update donors on their work, while 39% see the value of spending donations on lobbying, although that figure is down 19% compared with last year.

The poll also asked people to name ways a charity could make them feel confident they’d spend a donation well. Around half said no staff earning in excess of £50,000 a year or travelling on first class travel would have that effect, while exactly half said they’d feel confident in a charity mostly run by volunteers.

One in four were reassured by staff paying for their own Christmas party, while one in 10 opted for staff working for free one day a month.

Joe Saxton, nfpSynergy’s driver of ideas said: “Our research shows how important it is for charities to manage the public’s perception of waste and frugality. So while nobody travelling first class on expenses might save relatively small amounts of money, it is symbolic of a frugal charity. Perception is reality for many donors. This research also emphasises how far apart the public and charities are on paying staff. Many members of the public don’t like charities paying staff £50,000 a year, let alone £100,000. Half of the public think a charity run entirely by volunteers would mean their donation was well spent. The sector has a long way to go in getting the message across about how modern charities work.”