NEWS25 June 2014

Trust in charities falls

News UK

UK — Public trust in charities has fallen for the first time since 2011 pushing them down to the seventh most trusted institution according to research consultancy nfpSynergy.


Trust in charities has fallen by 10 percentage points in the past year in a newly published list of the most trusted institutions. The Armed Forces continues to top the list followed by the NHS, Scouts and Guides, small businesses, schools, the Royal Family, charities and then the Royal Mail, the police and the BBC.

The poll of 1000 people shows that 56% of people now trust charities ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal’, a significant fall from last year and the sector’s second lowest figure since 2007. The Scouts and Guides continue their high levels of trust with 64%, while The Armed Forces remained top despite a drop of 8%.

Political parties ( 12%) and government ( 20%) came bottom of the poll, while just 28% of people said they trusted the Fundraising Standards Board and the same number had never heard of it.

The research also reveals what people say charities can do to reassure them, including reviewing costs annually and regulation by the Charity Commission. People were asked to choose which statements would reassure them about making a donation or convince them a charity was doing a good job. Seventy per cent said ‘every new charity has to be scrutinised before approval’ and 67% want to see ‘every charity’s accounts on the Charity Commission’s website’. Watching costs was also considered important with 68% wanting to see an annual review of a charity’s costs to keep them low. About 60% of people wanted to see charities submit their accounts on time and be forced to declare how many staff are paid more than £60,000.

NfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, asking them a range of charity-related questions. Data was used from the April 2014 wave.