Forty per cent of people are interested in the idea of a grading system for charities similar to ones that measure the performance of schools and hospitals.
However, the survey found that people are far more likely to withdraw donations from charities that perform badly than they are to give to charities that perform well.
Of 1,910 donors polled, 68 per cent said they would transfer their donations away from a charity if it were found to be performing badly.
Only 18 per cent said they would feel more obliged to give to a charity they knew was performing well.
Naomi Barber, research manager in the public sector team at YouGov said: "The results suggest that charities take their donors for granted at their peril.
"While many people give with their hearts, the research shows that the head still rules went it comes to relating donations to performance."