Local charities are far more trusted than their national and international counterparts, new research indicates.
An online survey of more than 2,000 people carried out last month by the polling company Vitreous for the Open University Business School’s Centre for Voluntary Sector Leadership found that 43 per cent said they trusted small and local community charities, compared with 29 per cent for national charities and 17 per cent for international charities.
Local charities came second behind only doctors on the overall most-trusted list, which was compiled by presenting participants with a list of 18 institutions and professions and asking them to select those they trusted. They could choose as many answers as applied.
Teachers came third on the list on 40 per cent, with the police in fourth on 38 per cent.
National charities came fifth, above lawyers/solicitors, with international charities in seventh place.
The lowest score, of 3 per cent, was recorded by politicians, estate agents and journalists.
Researchers also found that the same proportion of people who trusted small charities – 43 per cent – said they were likely to donate to small and local charities.
But only 17 per cent said they were likely to donate to national charities, compared with 29 per cent who said they trusted them.
Only 14 per cent said they were likely to donate to international charities, three percentage points lower than the proportion who said they trusted them.
Respondents were also asked to say what would put them off donating to charities from a list of 13 suggested answers.
The most popular response was "bad publicity about the charity", selected by 60 per cent of people, followed by "not sure that donations are used effectively", which was chosen by 53 per cent of respondents.
Slightly more than half of respondents – 52 per cent – selected "their fundraising techniques", and 49 per cent chose "charity spends too much on overheads".
Respondents could select as many answers as applied.