Public trust in charities has increased in the past year, study reveals

But Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy says the Charity Commission and the sector still have more to do raise levels of confidence

Joe Saxton
Joe Saxton

Public trust in charities has increased over the past year, according to a study by the research consultancy nfpSynerg.

Based on responses from more than 1,000 people aged 16 and over, it found that 64 per cent said that they either trusted charities "quite a lot" or a "great deal", compared with 59 per cent last year.

But charities have slipped back a place on levels of trust compared with well-known public bodies and institutions. They are now the fourth most trusted group behind the armed forces, the NHS and the Scouts and Guides, which have leapt up from eighth place to third.

More than half of the people (52 per cent) surveyed said they trusted a charity because they knew it "follows high standards in their fundraising". But 43 per cent had never heard of the Fundraising Standards Board and only 21 per cent said they trusted it.

Joe Saxton, co-founder of nfpSynergy, said it was good news that trust was on the increase, but there was still much more charities and the Charity Commission could do to raise trust levels, and with it donations.

"We also noted that in the Public Administration Select Committee, Charlie Elphicke MP suggested charities rein fundraising in and try and win back public confidence and trust," said Saxton. "Based on our research, for an MP to lecture charities on regaining trust and confidence is definitely a case of the pot calling the fridge black."

Sam Wilson, marketing and policy manager at the FRSB, said it was working hard to raise awareness of its role. "Public awareness and trust in the FRSB will rise as membership grows, with more and more charities using the tick logo consistently on campaign materials," she said. "Of course, the FRSB itself must also work to increase awareness, while ensuring that we do not incur any unnecessary expense for the sector."

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