Charities up to third place in list of most-trusted institutions

Research by nfpSynergy finds charities now come behind only the NHS and the armed forces

Public: renewed trust in charities
Public: renewed trust in charities

Charities have risen to third place in the list of most-trusted institutions and public bodies, up from 12th place 18 months ago.

Research from the consultancy nfpSynergy found that trust in charities rose by four percentage points to 64 per cent since the previous survey, which was carried out in October last year, and was up by 17 percentage points since October 2015.

Researchers asked a sample of 1,000 British adults in February to say how much trust they had in a list of bodies and institutions, including the police, the royal family, supermarkets and the BBC.

Sixty-four per cent of respondents said they trusted charities "a great deal" or "quite a lot", against 30 per cent who said "not much" or "very little".

The most trusted institutions were the NHS, trusted by 71 per cent of respondents, and the armed forces, on 70 per cent.

Trust in charities among most age brackets had risen since the last survey, trust in charities among those aged over 65 was down by 10 percentage points to 60 per cent.

The age group that had the most trust in charities was the under-24s, on 71 per cent, researchers found.

The research also found that trust in the Fundraising Regulator or its predecessor the Fundraising Standards Board had more than doubled since 2009.

The proportion of people who said they trusted the Fundraising Regulator was 35 per cent in the most recent survey, compared with 16 per cent who said the same of the FRSB in July 2009.

NfpSynergy said there was no evidence from its research that increased or decreased trust levels had any effect on levels of giving or volunteering.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of the consultancy, said the sector had no grounds for complacency over the rise in trust.

"We don’t know enough about why trust has risen, and it may be as much to do with events such as Brexit and Trump’s election as anything the charity sector has specifically done," he said.

Political parties came out as the least-trusted body or institution, with 12 per cent of people saying they trusted them.

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