Public expects ideal charity to be even more 'supportive' in a recession

“Fantastic opportunity for courageous charities to respond to this public plea”, rallies nfpSynergy’s Baker

The public are keener than ever for charities to be 'supportive', 'sympathetic' and 'responsive', now that the UK has entered recession, according to new data out today: demands that pose an interesting challenge to an already struggling third sector.

These are the latest findings from leading not-for-profit research consultancy nfpSynergy's Brand Attributes Monitor, which has just asked 2000 representative adult members of the British public to pick the 10 attributes they would most associate with their 'ideal' charity. Examining which ranked 'ideal' attributes have risen and fallen over time, relative to each other, offers an enlightening insight into the public's shifting priorities.

While the top three ideal brand attributes ('trustworthy', 'honest' and 'caring/compassionate') have indeed remained the same from pre-recession March 08 to post recession May 09, the three attributes that have experienced the greatest increase in public esteem over the same period are 'supportive', up by 16 percentage points;  'sympathetic' up by 12 percentage points; and 'responsive', up by 9 percentage points - quite possibly reflecting the increased assistance the public fear they might well need from charities, as a consequence of the economic downturn.

Interestingly, an ideal charity's being 'reputable', 'positive' and 'visionary' also became notably more publicly more desired over the same period; whereas 'accountability' has seemingly become notably less of a priority to the public - down from 49% in 2008 to 32% in 2009.
 

nfpSynergy’s researcher, Jonathan Baker, said:

“This new research suggests that, in these economically hard times, the British public wants its charities to 'do their duty' and be especially 'supportive' ,'sympathetic' and 'responsive'. Some charities may deem this an unrealistic demand. The more courageous will see it as a fantastic opportunity to respond to the public's plea. Doubtless this will require a 'positive' outlook and a few 'visionary' solutions on the part of struggling charities - something, again the public says it particularly expects when the going gets rough ”

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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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Three adjectives for the 'Ideal Charity'

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