At the end of 2017 charities were the fifth most trusted public institution ahead of the Scouts and Guides and the BBC, research by nfpSynergy has shown.
Charities have been revealed to be less trusted than the NHS, the armed forces, the police and schools. They are more trusted than Scouts and Guides, small businesses, the BBC and the legal system. The research shows trust in charities is generally on the up, with two years ago charities placing as only the twelfth most trusted institution.
Surveys were carried out in February, April, August and November 2017 through an online survey of 1,000 people representative of the population of Great Britain by age, gender and social class.
The survey found that while only 14 per cent surveyed trusted charities ‘a great deal’, compared to 30 per cent at the NHS, a total of 46 per cent said they trusted charities ‘quite a lot’. Of those surveyed 24 per cent said they trusted charities ‘not much’, and 10 per cent said they trusted them ‘very little’.
It found that all age groups trust charities fairly equally, ranging from 58 per cent to 62 per cent.
The consultancy said that there is no evidence in its research that “that increases or decreases in trust in the general public have any impact on levels of giving or volunteering”.
It added: “We need to find other proxies that may help us understand public support for charities. It’s perfectly possible for somebody to trust a charity and not support one, and vice versa.
“There is absolutely no grounds for complacency in the rise in trust in charities. We don’t know enough about why trust has risen, and it may be as much to do with events like Brexit and Trump’s presidency as anything the charity sector has specifically done.”
Trust in Fundraising Regulator
The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), which was replaced with the Fundraising Regulator in 2016, placed in the bottom half for trust, below the Royal Family, legal system and TV and radio stations. Only 7 per cent said they trusted them ‘a great deal’, while 27 per cent said they trusted them ‘not much’.
However the level of trust in the regulator has doubled since 2009, from 15 per cent to 37 per cent.
People that support charities were found to trust charities significantly more than those that do not. In November 2017 charity supporters’ trust in charities was at 70 per cent, while non-supporters were at 40 per cent.