More than a quarter of people in Scotland say their trust in charities has fallen in the past year, according to an Ipsos Mori survey for the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations.
The poll of more than 1,000 people in, carried out in November, found that 28 per cent said their trust in charities had decreased over the past year, with 16 per cent saying their trust had increased.
Fifty-four per cent said their trust in charities had neither increased nor decreased over the same period.
The SCVO said the proportion of people whose trust in charities had fallen was much larger than found in previous surveys by the Charity Commission for England and Wales. For example, the commission’s 2014 Ipsos Mori poll showed 18 per cent felt that their trust in charities had fallen in the previous two years.
Forty-one per cent of respondents to the SCVO survey said recent media stories had caused them to lose confidence in charities.
But public confidence in charities in Scotland was found to be higher than in England and Wales.
Sixty-seven per cent of respondents to the SCVO survey scored their trust in charities as six out of 10, rising to 78 per cent for charities with which people had a personal connection.
The 2014 survey for the Charity Commission for England and Wales showed the average trust score for charities was 6.7 out of 10.
Eighty-two per cent of respondents to the SCVO poll said they trusted charities and believed they acted in the public interest.
Seventy-three per cent of respondents said they felt confident donating to a charity and 89 per cent said they had given either time or money to charity in the past year.
By contrast, the SCVO said, 81 per cent of people in the whole of the UK had supported a charity in the last year and 61 per cent had donated money, based on combined averages from research by the think tank New Philanthropy Capital and CAF’s 2014 UK Giving Report.
Other surveys of the UK charity sector have shown falling levels of public trust in the sector. One poll by the research consultancy nfpSynergy in October 2015 found that only 48 per cent of respondents trusted charities.