Charities need to use frequent, clear messages to improve public understanding of how they work, according to a new paper from nfpSynergy released today.
The research consultancy said that it published its Getting the Message Across report because of the gap between how charities work in practice and the public’s perception. It said: "There are huge misconceptions about charities and their spending, but they can be combated with the right narrative and sound bites."
The paper draws on the results from three focus groups held earlier this year with charity donors from a range of professional backgrounds and ages.
The report advises charities to embed short, snappy communications in everything they do to gradually build public support.
In an example regarding whether donations are used wisely, it says the message is: "Charities never stop trying to keep their costs down and, where they do spend money, it’s because they know it is justified."
The report says that other research carried out by nfpSynergy showed that the public estimates a far higher proportion of charities’ income goes on administration and fundraising than is actually the case.