More than half of people view charities as 'bottomless pits', research indicates

More than half of Brits think charities are bottomless pits that are too corporate and have lost their humanity, new research indicates. 

A report published by the creative company the Good Agency in partnership with the pollsters YouGov asked more than 4,000 people about their beliefs, giving and preferences.

It also includes insight from a focus group of nine people with mixed giving behaviours. 

Researchers found that slightly more than half (51 per cent) of respondents said they thought charities had lost their humanity, while a slightly higher proportion (53 per cent) thought charities were too corporate and had lost their humanity.

A similar number said that donating to charity was a bottomless pit, with cynicism greater in older generations. 

One female baby boomer responded: “I’ve been giving all my life and there’s still a need.”

The report found that nearly three in five Brits believe that it is not the role of charities to take a political stance and 43 per cent no longer thought charities were the best way to solve social problems.

When respondents were asked why they did not donate when they were asked, the leading response was that they “didn’t like the way they were asking”, while three-quarters said they wanted “charities to give a hand up, not a handout”.

On a more positive note, charities were still seen as important, with 79 per cent of respondents agreeing that charities were vital because they helped the most vulnerable. 

The study also showed that 73 per cent of respondents agreed that charities were important because they encouraged everyone to be more kind. 

Chris Norman, chief executive of the Good Agency, said: “We know that individual giving is critical to so many organisations if vital services are to continue. 

“We have commissioned this research to help unlock the innate compassion we know resides in the British public to help motivate giving. 

“We hope the report will help inspire fundraisers and charity professionals to overcome barriers and transform the future.”

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