Majority of public think having a London office is a waste of a charity's money

Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy says his organisation's survey shows the need for charities to explain why they do what they do

Joe Saxton
Joe Saxton

Three-quarters of UK adults think that having an office in London is a waste of a charity’s money, according to new research by the consultancy nfpSynergy.

Its survey of 1,002 people aged 16 and over shows that 74 per cent think that a charity spending money on a London office is "somewhat wasteful" or "very wasteful".

The survey, conducted in March and published today, says that 72 per cent feel rebranding is a waste of a charity’s money. Slightly more than half, 52 per cent, believe that lobbying of government and other organisations by charities is "fairly" or "very" worthwhile and 70 per cent think developing a website is a worthwhile use of charity money.

Fifty-one per cent of respondents feel more confident about their donations if nobody working for the charity is paid more than £50,000, and 37 per cent would feel confident if all administration costs were paid for by Gift Aid claimed on donations.

Sixty-two per cent of respondents would feel confident about their donations if they knew that no staff member ever travelled first class on expenses.

Fifty-five per cent of people would have confidence in a charity if it was run mostly by volunteers, and 23 per cent would be confident if they knew the charity’s staff paid for their own Christmas party.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said the survey showed that the charity sector needed to explain why it worked the way that it did. He said that for many charities it made sense to have an office in London or to pay someone more than £50,000 or £100,000.

"What charities need to remember is that if London offices or £100k salaries are worthwhile, they need to scream and shout about why," said Saxton. "The sector needs to talk about these issues now, not hope that nobody notices what they are doing."

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