Trust in charities 'down 18 percentage points since 2015', says PR firm

The Trust Barometer from Edelman says trust in charities 'to do what is right' fell from 50 per cent to 32 per cent between November 2015 and 7 January this year

Public: trust in charities down
Public: trust in charities down

Public trust in UK charitable bodies "to do what is right" has fallen by 18 percentage points since 2015, an international study has found.

The PR firm Edelman’s Trust Barometer, published yesterday, reveals that public trust in non-governmental organisations fell from 50 per cent in November 2015 to 46 a year later. A subsequent supplementary study carried out between 23 December and 7 January found it had fallen to 32 per cent, Edelman reports.

The studies asked 1,150 people in the UK to rate how much they trusted NGOs, government, business and the media "to do what is right" on a scale of one to nine, with one indicating no trust at all and nine indicating a lot of trust.

Trust in other institutions "to do what is right" was also down, with the figure for the media falling from 36 per cent to 24 per cent and the figure for government dropping from 36 per cent to 26 per cent.

The falling numbers are part of a dramatic worldwide fall in public trust in institutions, the study says.

The UK study was part of a wider study of 33,000 people in 28 countries, which found that global trust in NGOs had fallen by two percentage points between November 2015 and November 2016 to 53 per cent.

Trust in NGOs fell in 21 countries and 11 countries rated them as less trustworthy than businesses.

The results run counter to those collated in October by the research company nfpSynergy. It found that public trust in charities had reached the highest level since 2013, with 60 per cent of respondents saying they trusted charities "quite a lot" or a "great deal" – up from a low of 47 per cent in October 2015.

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