Coalition Government yet to impact positively on charities, say public

  • Only 1 in 10 of public think the Coalition has had a positive impact on charities so far, with four times that number saying they have not seen a positive impact
  • Only 1 in 20 of public think Lib Dems have most influence in Coalition decisions, three quarters saying Tories ‘wear trousers’
  • Labour seen as most pro-charity party – despite majority of people still saying they don’t know which party is most supportive of charities
  •  “Our voluntary sector has neither rarely been more needed by the public, nor more in need itself of greater political direction”, says nfpSynergy’s Saxton

Only 1 in 10 (11%, slide 2) of the British public think the Coalition Government has had a positive impact on charities to date, with four times that number (44%) actually disagreeing that there has been any such positive impact - according to new research out today.

Moreover, only 1 in 20 (5%, slide 3) of the public think the Lib Dems have most influence in Coalition decisions overall - three quarters (76%) saying it is, in fact, the Tories who ‘wear the trousers’. And, whilst Labour is seen (19%, slide 4) as being the most ‘pro-charity’ party, the majority (55%) of people still say they don’t know which party is most supportive of charities.

Leading not-for-profit sector research consultancy nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, asking them a range of charity-related questions – including (Feb 2012 data) gauging the perceived impact of the Coalition Government, and other parties, on the third and other sectors.

Beyond just the realm of charities, half (50%, slide 2) the public do not think the Coalition has so far had a positive overall impact on life in Britain, with only a quarter (25%) saying it has been generally beneficial. And, out of a range of key areas surveyed, the National Health Service is perceived as being the biggest looser under the Coalition to date - the majority (55%) of people not thinking the Coalition has had a positive impact on the NHS, only 13% saying it has.

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, comments:

“With its ‘Big Society’ agenda supposedly placing ever greater onus on British charities, the Coalition Government - arguably not least its Lib Dem element - might well be alarmed by this research showing the public think that its impact on such an apparently crucial sector has not yet proven positive.

“Yet Labour can take small comfort, either, in being seen as the most pro-charity party - whilst the majority of people still say they don’t know which main political party is most supportive of charities.

“Our voluntary sector has neither rarely been more needed by the public, nor more in need, itself, of greater political clarity and direction.”

- end -

MEDIA COMMENT: To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him direct on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net; or, alternatively, contact Adrian Gillan (0774 086 7215; E: adrian@gillanmedia.com) for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy (www.nfpsynergy.net) is the UK’s only research consultancy dedicated to the charity sector and not-for-profit issues. It provides ideas, insights and information to help voluntary and community organisations thrive in an ever-changing world. Regularly harvesting the social and charity-related views of public and parliament, media and business - not to mention not for profit organisations themselves - nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool from which to extract and deliver insights.

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