The public believe charities are more likely to spend donations well if they are entirely run by volunteers, according to a survey conducted by consultancy nfpSynergy.
The survey found that 44 per cent of respondents said they would be confident a charity would spend donations well if all personnel were volunteers. The next most popular answers were that “no member of staff ever travelled first-class on expenses” and that “nobody in the organisation is paid more than £50,000”.
However confidence measures were universally lower than in previous years. The number of people saying that any particular measure would lead to confidence was down by around 6 percentage points, compared to an identical survey two years ago.
'Clear information about donations' a major factor
The survey also found, in answer to a separate question with a different list of criteria, that clear information about how donations are spent is the largest factor in deciding whether to give to a particular charity.
The research found that learning about the charity’s impact and positive stories about the charity in the media were the other most significant factors.
Some 56 per cent of people said that clear information about donations was among the most important factors in deciding whether to give. Those aged over 54 and under 25 were most likely to use this criteria.
Among people under 25, 57 per cent said this was an important criteria. Among those aged 55 to 64, 63 per cent said it was important. Among those aged 65 and over, it rose to 68 per cent.
The survey was based on a sample of 1,000 adults who were asked “Would knowing any of the following about a charity make you feel confident that they would spend a donation well? Please select up to 5 answers” and “What are the main factors (if any) from the below which would encourage you to give to a particular charity? Please select up to 5 answers”.