Most people think charities should keep Presidents Club money, poll finds

A survey of more than 1,600 people commissioned by the NCVO finds that 67 per cent think charities that benefited from the scandal-hit organisation should keep its donations

Polling: majority of people think charities should keep the cash
Polling: majority of people think charities should keep the cash

More than two-thirds of people think charities that received donations from the scandal-hit Presidents Club fundraising events should keep the cash, research shows.

A poll of more than 1,600 adults commissioned by the National Council for Voluntary Organisations found that 67 per cent of respondents said charities that had benefited from Presidents Club funds should retain the donations, whereas 20 per cent thought they should return the money. The remainder were unsure.

A number of charities, including the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, said they would return or reject Presidents Club donations after an undercover reporter from the Financial Times newspaper alleged that hostesses working at the charity’s annual men-only dinner had been subject to sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour.

Trustees of the Presidents Club have since said that the charity would shut down.

The NCVO’s survey, which was conducted online last week by the online polling company YouGov, found that older people were more likely to say charities should keep the money, with 76 per cent of the over-65s saying they should do this compared with 59 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Respondents to the survey were also asked if they would be more or less likely to make a donation to a charity that had refused funds from an individual or company on ethical grounds.

Researchers found that 20 per cent of respondents said it would make them more likely to make a donation to that charity, while 12 per cent said it would make them less likely to do so.

The majority of respondents, 54 per cent, said it would make no difference to their willingness to donate to that charity, and 14 per cent said they did not know.

Aidan Warner, external relations manager at the NCVO, said in a blog post about the results that the decision-making process for charities that had received Presidents Club funds was not simple, with advantages and disadvantages on both sides.

"In reality, this is a decision for each charity’s trustees, and I don’t think there’s a wrong or right answer," he said.

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