Much of public opposes paying charity leaders

20 Feb 2013 News

More than half of the public are against paying trustees and a third are against paying charity chief executives, according to new research from nfpSynergy.

Joe Saxton of nfpSynergy

More than half of the public are against paying trustees and a third are against paying charity chief executives, according to new research from nfpSynergy.

nfpSynergy quizzed some 1,000 people on their attitudes to paying charity staff and found that the general public is still not completely sure about who is paid in charities.

While over 70 per cent of respondents knew chief executives, directors and charity shop managers are paid, only half (51 per cent) correctly identified street fundraisers as paid.

And a third think that charity trustees are paid, but only 14 per cent think they should be, with more than half (54 per cent) against it.

A third thought chief executives should work for free, while 39 per cent believe directors shouldn’t take home any pay.

nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton said: “I don’t like this research because it shows the majority of the public don’t want to pay trustees, when for me a charity should be able to decide for itself whether to pay trustees. nfpSynergy should still publish research whether it supports my views or not!

“I wonder, however, if the paid CEOs who happily say trustees shouldn’t be paid because of public trust will take any notice of the public’s reticence to pay CEOs. If paying trustees is bad for public trust, why isn’t paying CEOs and other directors? The reality is that the public is generally sceptical about paying charity staff at all, let alone at high salaries. We as a sector need to work harder at explaining why senior staff in charities should be paid and those like me who believe that charities should be able to choose to pay their trustees need to redouble our efforts as well.”

Last year, as part of the Charities Act 2006 review, it was proposed that charities with incomes of more than £1m should be allowed to pay their trustees without permission from the Commission. But minister for civil society Nick Hurd rejected the controversial proposal.

 


   
 
 

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