2 in 3 people say rebrands and London offices are a waste of charities’ money

Two thirds of people think that charities spending money on rebranding or London offices are wasting donations, new research shows. The study, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, reveals that people feel websites and advertising are a better use of vital funds, while half prefer it when charities are run by volunteers.

The survey of 1,000 people shows that 68% of people feel London-based offices for charities are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful, with just 8% saying they are worthwhile. 67% of people said the same about charities who change their name, logo or look as part of a rebrand, with just 11% seeing its worth.

More positively, over half of people deem advertising worthy of spending money on and 61% feel the same about developing a website. Almost half think it’s worthwhile for charities to create magazines to update donors on their work, while 45% see the value of spending donations on lobbying, up 6% from last year.

The poll also asked people to name ways a charity could make them feel confident their donation would be spent well. Around half said charities being run by volunteers and not paying for staff to travel first class would have that effect, while 45% said they’d feel confident if no one in the organisation was paid more than £50,000 a year.

One in five were reassured by staff paying for their own Christmas party, while one in ten want to see staff working for free one day a month.

  • People think London-based offices (68%) and rebrands (67%) are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful (slide 2)
  • Nearly half of people think lobbying government or other organisations is ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ worthwhile (slide 2)
  • 56% feel the same way about advertising, while 61% say that about developing a website (slide 2)
  • The best way for charities to make people feel confident they’ll spend a donation well is to not allow staff to travel first class on expenses according to 51% (slide 3)
  • Half of people would feel confident if the organisation was run mostly by volunteers (49%), no one earned more than £50,000 a year (45%) and no one got a bonus (44%) (slide 3)
  • One in three (33%) said they’d feel confident if a charity had no offices in London, while 21% would if staff paid for their own Christmas party. One in ten would if staff worked a day a month for free (slide 3)

nfpSynergy’s Deputy Managing Director, Patrick Brennan, said:

"The public’s desire for information is high, but their willingness to study rows and rows of figures is usually limited. Charities can’t simply publish their accounts and expect donors to just reassure themselves by reading cover to cover. Instead, they need to provide just enough detail to give people the confidence that their donation will be spent wisely and without waste.

"While nobody travelling first class on expenses might save relatively small amounts of money, it is symbolic of a frugal charity. ‘Key facts’ buttons or tabs on charity websites are also effective ways of presenting impact in an accessible and aesthetically appealing way."

Please see the attached slides for more details.

SOURCE: nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor, which regularly surveys a representative sample of 1,000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, January 2015 wave.

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Slides on Charity Spending

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