Trustworthiness, honesty and compassion remain the attributes most valued in charities by the public, according to the latest research by sector consultancy nfpSynergy.
But 'supportive', 'sympathetic' and 'responsive' were the charity attributes that rose most in public esteem - by 16 per cent - since the research was last carried out in March 2008.
"This suggests that, in these economically hard times, the British public wants charities to do their duty and be especially supportive, sympathetic and responsive'," said Jonathan Baker, a researcher at nfpSynergy.
"Some charities might deem this an unrealistic demand. The more courageous will see it as a fantastic opportunity to respond to the public's plea."
The company's Brand Attributes Monitor survey, carried out in May and published this week, asked the public to choose up to 10 words from a list of 30 to describe their ideal charity. The research was based on a survey of 2,037 people aged 16 and over.