This report looks at the key trends in how the public engage with politics and how they perceive charity engagement with the political process. It draws on nfpSynergy’s research with a range of audiences, including the general public, MPs and journalists.
The charity sector has had 12 months unlike any other it has ever seen. We have been under the spotlight in the eyes of the media, public and politicians more than ever before, and rarely for the right reasons.
We would like to thank our clients and partners for inspiring us to keep researching the topical issues in the sector. As part of our Social Investment programme we regularly produce Free Reports and feed our finding back to the sector so any charity regardless its size or sector can find something useful.
Two thirds of MPs think that we need tighter regulation of charity fundraising
Conservative MPs are particularly unimpressed with how the sector has responded to recent media coverage and are less likely to support charity campaigns in parliament
71% of the general public think that tighter regulation is needed even if it means that charities raise less money
There is little doubt that digital technology has transformed the lives of people in the UK. Alongside the digital giants such as Google and Yahoo who exist purely because of the digital world, startups like Uber or WhatsApp have incorporated technology into their business models and now thrive.
There are over 160,000 charities in the UK1, benefiting a wide range of causes from hospices to international development. We explore facts and figures to try and determine which of these causes appeal most to the general public, but find that the outcome depends on the criteria used.
The generational landscape of UK society is being radically transformed. We will see a predicted 2m growth amongst those aged 65 and over by 2020 (Future Foundation), representing a 20% increase on the current proportion of 65+ year olds in this country.
Charities face tough battles ahead on campaigning with many MPs – particularly Conservatives – new research shows. Two thirds of Conservative MPs think that the charity sector is too political, and one third think that charities should not campaign in Parliament at all.
The Conservative Party rarely talks about the Big Society agenda any more since its peak in 2011. Nevertheless, the idea that communities should step in where the state has retreated remains a core feature of Conservative policy in government.
The public’s trust in charities has fallen to its lowest level in almost a decade, new research shows. Barely half of people now trust charities; a figure that sees them drop to 8th in a list of Britain’s most trusted institutions as the Armed Forces, the NHS and schools continue to lead the way.
Trust in charities falls from 53% in Spring 15 to 48% in Autumn 2015
Charities have fallen from 8th place to 12th place in just 6 months in the list of trusted public institutions
Now behind supermarkets and TV & Radio stations in levels of trust
There has been much soul-searching in the charity sector in recent weeks about how it is perceived by external audiences. Do the public, or even politicians and journalists, really understand how charities work today?