Report says most charities do not think negative coverage will hurt donations

A study by Blackbaud with the IoF says 72 per cent of those polled said they did not think the bad media the sector has attracted in recent years will have affected the level of opt-outs

The report
The report

Almost three-quarters of charities do not expect that the negative coverage of the sector in the media over the past six months will have hit donations, a new report says.

The Status of UK Fundraising 2018 Benchmark Report, published this week by the software company Blackbaud with the Institute of Fundraising, says that 72 per cent of the more than 800 fundraisers polled said they did not anticipate the recent coverage would negatively affect supporter opt-out rates.

Only 8 per cent of respondents thought they would be affected, with the remainder not sure.

Daniel Fluskey, head of policy and external affairs at the IoF, says in the report: "The first half of 2018 saw the charity sector firmly in the spotlight – first with the Presidents Club scandal, quickly followed by an intense focus on the international aid sector and safeguarding.

"There was lots of speculation how the media coverage would impact on donors and donations, but the results of this survey suggest overall that there wasn’t a significant negative impact either on overall fundraising income, opt-out rates, or in attracting new supporters.

"The financial indications that we’ve seen in the first half of the year support the findings of this survey, with charity supporters remaining loyal to the causes they give to. Of course, organisations will never be complacent, but by the same token the commitment of people who give to charities should not be underestimated."

The report also says that just under two-thirds of charities polled – 65 per cent – said their income had increased over the past year, while 27 per cent said it had not. The remainder were not sure.

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