Some 47 per cent of the public now think of the charity sector as “good” or “very good” – up from 41 per cent last year, according to YouGov polling.
The proportion saying the charity sector was “bad” or “very bad” has fallen from 20 per cent in 2016 to 16 per cent of those polled.
The latest figures were unveiled at the Westminster Policy Forum this morning. YouGov polled a nationally representative sample of 1,660 people earlier this month.
Despite the improvement on last year’s figures, the latest ratings are well behind those seen in 2013, when 62 per cent thought the sector had a good reputation.
The survey also found that fewer people think that large charities are damaging the sector.
This year 45 per cent of those polled said that large charities had damaged the sector’s reputation, compared to 62 per cent last year. Some 12 per cent thought large charities’ had improved the sector’s reputation this year, compared to just five per cent last year.
Last year’s poll came shortly after very public criticism of high-profile charities’ fundraising activity by both the media and politicians.
There has been a slight fall in the people saying that charities are socially useful. This year 61 per cent said charities were socially useful compared to 66 per cent last year.
YouGov also tracks the reputation of individual charities through its CharityIndex. The most recent figures show individual brands starting to recover.
Bryony Gunstone of YouGov said: "There are early signs that the reputation of the sector is beginning to recover."
Additional reporting by David Ainsworth