A new survey has found that just less than half of those surveyed thought charity chief executives should be paid, with about a quarter believing they should not and the rest unsure.
A nationally representative poll of 1,000 people carried out by the consultancy nfpSynergy in January found that 48 per cent of respondents thought charity chief should probably or definitely be paid, while 26 per cent said they should probably or definitely not be paid, with the rest not sure.
Fifty per cent of respondents said they thought street fundraisers who signed people up to direct debits should not be paid.
Fifty-three per cent of respondents said charity shop workers should not be paid – the same proportion who said that charity trustees should not be remunerated for their efforts.
According to the survey, 80 per cent of people thought charity chief executives were paid, with 4 per cent believing they were not and the rest unsure.
Sixty-four per cent of respondents thought charity presidents were paid, 32 per cent thought charity trustees were paid and 16 per cent said they thought patrons were paid.
Thirty-five per cent of respondents thought that street fundraisers were not paid, with 40 per cent believing they were. The rest said they did not know.
Bijal Rama, research officer at nfpSynergy, said that people would remain divided on the subject of paying charity staff mainly because of misconceptions about charities and lack of interest in how they worked.
She said that other this and other research carried out by nfpSynergy indicated that people were more concerned about how much of their donations went towards supporting the cause than they were about the level of salaries paid by a charity.