nfpSynergy - research consultancy helping not-for-profits thrive

Use frequent, clear messages to improve public understanding, new report urges charities

Short, snappy and regular messages are the key to building public understanding of modern charities and how they work, according to a new report. “Getting the Message Across,” written by research consultancy nfpSynergy, says that there are huge misconceptions about charities and their spending, but they can be combatted with the right narrative and soundbites.

The report, out today, is the second on the topic and was written because “it is clear that the gap between how charities work and how the public think they work remains substantial.” Based on surveys of the public and three focus groups with donors, it says that public trust and understanding in charities is volatile and can be damaged by negative media stories, myths and poor understanding.

The paper looks at what can be done to improve understanding and advises simple, positive and clear messages with the right soundbites and arguments will increase public acceptance and support. It also advises charities to explain the necessity of their structures and to emphasise transparency and accountability in everything they do.

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Getting the Message Across - Practical strategies to tackle public concerns about donating to charity

In 2006, we wrote a first edition of Getting the Message across, but eight years later it is clear that the gap between how 21st century charities work and how the public think they work remains substantial. In response to the resurgent public debate about charity expenditure, executive pay and a host of other broader trust issues, nfpSynergy held three focus groups earlier this year with charity donors of a range of professional backgrounds and ages.

This report is the result of those focus groups, including six themes that every charity can communicate and six ways to get your message across. 

It also comes with a list of eight great points every charity can take away.

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SlideZone - People & health charities

Women tend to have a closer affinity than men to health and medical causes

This slide uses indexes to show support for a cause among different demographic groups by comparing support among one (e.g. women aged 16-24) to the overall level. This is very useful for comparing different causes as indexes consider the relative support levels, not the absolute levels. The scores highlighted in purple above show that the group in question is more likely than average to support that cause.

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people in liverpool st station

Charity Awareness Monitor

The Charity Awareness Monitor (CAM) enables charities to find out how they are perceived by the most vital of audiences; the general public. It also gives an insight into what the public think about volunteering, campaigning and donating to charity, whilst providing an accurate

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Staying in Kilt-er; why Scottish charities have a key role to play in civic engagement

As a Scot living in London, I largely watched the referendum debates from a distance and was amazed by what was happening, and is continuing to happen, among friends and family back home. Over the past two months, I’ve watched the posts on my Facebook newsfeed change. There are far fewer videos of cats and far more links to petitions and articles, with more of my friends writing their own opinion pieces.

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