Public happy to see charity shop managers draw a salary, but confusion remains over who is paid in charities

A third of people want to see charity CEOs and directors work for free

  • 74% of people think that charity shop managers are paid. 63% think they should be, more than any other position asked about (slides 2 and 3)
  • 31% of people think CEOs shouldn’t be paid and 37% feel the same about directors (slide 3)
  • People are quite well informed about who is paid towards the top of charities, with 81% saying they think chief executives are paid and 75% saying the same about directors (slide 2)
  • 67% were right in thinking support/administration staff are paid, but less than half (48%) identified street fundraisers as paid (slide 2)
  • 62% mistakenly thought Presidents were paid and 16% thought the same about patrons (slide 2)
  • As always, trustees caused some confusion. A third think they are paid, but only 16% of people think they should be, with more than half (51%) against it (slides 2 and 3)
  • A third (45%) think street fundraisers should not be paid, but volunteers (17%) and patrons (14%) should be paid according to some people (slide 3)

People are more in favour of paying charity shop managers than any other role in charities, new research shows. The poll, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also found that a third of people are against charities paying their CEOs and directors as the public remain divided on who should draw a salary.

The study, conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1000 people, revealed that three in four people (74%) thought charity shop managers are paid and 63% felt they should be. Four in five (81%) knew that charity chief executives are paid, but a third (31%) thought they should be working for free. Three in four (75%) also correctly identified directors as paid positions, but 37% thought they should not be.

Although two in three (67%) correctly identified support/admin staff as drawing a salary, there was confusion over other roles. A president (62%) and patrons (16%) were mistakenly identified as paid, while 31% thought street fundraisers were unpaid.

People were divided on who else should be taking home a salary. Nearly half (45%) felt that street fundraisers should work for free, while charity shop helpers (45%) and tin collectors (56%) should not be drawing a salary either according to around half.

The results also show that paying trustees is not a popular move with everyone. A third (32%) think they are paid, but only 16% think they should be and more than half (51%) are against it. These levels of support are especially low when compared to a third of people (33%) who want to see salaried charity shop helpers, while even volunteers would be supported by 17% if they claimed a wage.

nfpSynergy’s Rob White said:

In the year since we last did this research, too little has changed. There will always be public reluctance to spending donations on salaries, but charities are clearly still not explaining who is paid, who works for free and why their staff are value for money. When will charities learn that they must explain to donors why they need to spend their money on salaries?

It is also interesting to note that nearly two thirds of people mistakenly think a President is paid. Our advice is, if you have a President, get rid of their title and call them something else, or many donors will think they draw a wage.”

Please see the attached slides for more details.

You can also view our latest nfpSoundbite, with five minutes of explanation and analysis of the data in video form. This can be found here: http://www.screencast.com/t/GycEwquNuNGH

For further comment from nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton, please contact him directly on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net.

SOURCE: nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor, which regularly surveys a representative sample of 1,000 adults (16+ years old) throughout mainland Britain on charity-related questions. Data was used from the November 2013 wave.

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