Only 14 per cent of people check that a clothing collection bag is from a genuine charity before using it to make a donation, according to research commissioned by the Charity Retail Association.
For its report Understanding Donors and Buyers, it asked the research agency JRA Research to interview a representative sample of more than 1,000 people in June. The survey asked what information people looked for before making donations in clothing collection bags.
Only 14 per cent said they checked to see whether bags were from genuine charities.
Asked if they were aware of the different types of collections bag – some come directly from charities with shops, others from commercial companies that give a portion of their takings to charities – 29 per cent said they were not.
Fifty-two per cent of respondents said it was not always made clear on bags what type of collection they were for.
Wendy Mitchell, head of policy and public affairs at the CRA, said the research showed there was a lot of confusion over doorstep collections.
"It suggests that public awareness about the different types of collections is not good," she said. "There’s a job for us and the sector to help the public better understand the different bags."
Alistair McLean, chief executive of the Fundraising Standards Board, said he was surprised that so few people were checking whether bags were from legitimate charities.
"That would suggest we have a job to do," he said. "The sector needs to get the public better informed – and the FRSB also has a role to play in that."