YouGov’s mid-year CharityIndex, which is compiled using data on the public’s perceptions of charities on a daily basis, ranks Macmillan Cancer Support, Cancer Research UK and Help for Heroes in the top three spots for the second year running.
Macmillan was also ranked the number one charity brand in YouGov’s rankings for the whole of 2013 and 2014.
Researchers interviewed more than 100 people each day on subjects such as the charities they had discussed with friends and family and the charities they had heard of.
The results were compiled to generate "buzz scores" about the public's perception of an organisation, including measuring whether people had heard good or bad news about a charity in the previous two weeks.
The rankings were compiled using score averages from the first six months of 2015.
All the charities in the top 10 experienced a fall in their average year-on-year buzz score compared with the same period in 2014, which YouGov said might have been caused by a series of negative press stories about the sector in recent months.
The RBL’s inclusion last year was likely to have been related to the heightened media coverage of the First World War centenary commemorations, YouGov said.
Alzheimer’s Research UK and the Alzheimer’s Society were added to the rankings in December, so there are no comparison figures with last year.
The top 10 (with mid-year 2014 rankings in brackets) are
1 Macmillan Cancer Support (1)
2 Cancer Research UK (2)
3 Help for Heroes (3)
4 British Heart Foundation (4)
5 British Red Cross (=6)
6 Alzheimer’s Research UK (-)
7 RNLI (=6)
9 Marie Curie Cancer Care (9)
10 Alzheimer’s Society (-)
YouGov has also released the top improving charity brands of the first six months of the year, comparing charities’ buzz scores with where they stood during the same period last year. Unicef came out as the most improved charity brand in the first six months of this year, with Oxfam in second place and Children in Need third.
Briony Gunstone, associate director of YouGov, said the appearance of two Alzheimer’s charities in the top 10 reflected the public’s increasing interest in dementia.
She said there were a number of reasons for the overall fall in charities’ buzz scores since last year. "First, people are generally hearing less about charities in the media," she said. "Part of this is likely to be because of the big news stories over the past six months – such as the election – that have dominated news schedules and made it harder for third sector organisations to achieve cut through.
"The second, more crucial, reason is that the media is increasingly covering charities in a more negative light. Over the past six months in particular there have been some very prominent stories about pushy charities demanding money from vulnerable people."