Charities are regarded as the most accurate source of information after friends and family, according to research published today by the consultancy nfpSynergy.
Sixty-five per cent of the 1,000 people it surveyed said they trusted the accuracy of information from charities either "a great deal" or "quite a lot".
This was higher than the respective figures for the BBC, TV news channels, broadsheet newspapers, the government, tabloid newspapers, social media and politicians. Only friends and family scored higher, on 72 per cent.
Charities also scored second only to friends and family on impartiality, with 53 per cent saying they trusted their impartiality "a great deal" or "quite a lot".
People who run charities ranked fourth of 15 on the question of whose views were trusted the most on UK policy.
However, charities fared less well on looking after personal data, with only 53 per cent of respondents saying they had "quite a lot" or "a great deal" of trust in the ability of voluntary organisations to do so, compared with 64 per cent who said the same about their trust in charities to have a positive impact on UK society.
NfpSynergy, which conducted the research in February this year and July last year, has been measuring trust and confidence in charities for more than a decade.
"It’s clear that trust in charities is very volatile and in itself is not very meaningful," said Joe Saxton, co-founder of the consultancy.
"So we have started a programme to try to understand what charities are trusted to do, and how they are trusted compared with other sectors in areas such as policy. This is the first report from this new strand of research."