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Building trust and confidence in charities: what should the sector do and what should charities do

Trust is of paramount importance to charities. The public’s trust is one of the major factors that underpin the donations of time and money by millions of people every year. But what is the best way to build that trust?

Whereas other organisations, particularly those selling a product, have tangible evidence to try to support and grow trust, confidence and most importantly loyalty for their brand, charities have only trust. If that trust is not maintained, the whole organisation and perhaps even the sector itself could suffer.

The foundations for that trust and the mechanisms by which that trust is increased or decreased remain unclear. It is a complex area and a number of organisations have tried to explore the issue through researching trust in charities (perhaps most notably the Charity Commission and ourselves). 

This document is our suggested approach to a strategy for building trust both in individual charities and in charities as a whole. If it makes others produce more detailed or more comprehensive strategies then it will have done its job.

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