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Public levels of trust in charities and Royal Family increase, but political parties still bottom of the pile, new research shows

Armed forces most trusted institution in UK

“As our research shows, for an MP to lecture charities on regaining trust and confidence is definitely a case of the pot calling the fridge black.” Joe Saxton

Public trust in charities has increased. 64% of people now trust charities ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal’ compared to 59% last year (slides 2 and 3).

  • Over half of people (52%) said they trusted charities because they ‘know the charity follows high standards in their fundraising’ (slide 5). But 43% had never even heard of the Fundraising Standards Board (slide 2).
  • But charities have slipped to the 4th most trusted public body. The Armed Forces lead the way on 79%, followed by the NHS (70%) and Scouts and Guides (69%). Political parties enjoy just 7% trust levels, 53% trust them very little (slide 1).
  • Trust in the Royal Family has increased significantly. 61% of people now trust them ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal’ in this Jubilee year. This is an increase of 19% on last year and a huge increase of 38% since 2003 (slides 2 and 4).
  • Just 3% said celebrity support made them trust charities, 6% said TV adverts (slide 5).

Public trust in charities is on the increase, new research shows. Levels of trust in the Royal family have also increased dramatically in the Jubilee year. 

The poll, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 64% of people now trust charities ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a great deal, an increase of 5% on last year. The Royal Family has also seen a dramatic increase in trust levels, moving from 42% in 2011 to 61% this year. They have enjoyed a huge increase of 38% since 2003. But they both still rank behind the NHS (70%) and have always come behind the Armed Forces (79%), who have topped the poll since it began 2003.
More than half (52%) of people said the reason for trusting charities was knowing they ‘follow high standards in their fundraising.’ But when asked about the Fundraising Standards Board, just 21% said it had their trust, with nearly half (43%) admitting they’d never heard of it. 
The Scouts and Guides have stolen a march on charities in the last year of their centenary celebrations, moving into third place with trust levels at 69%. Political parties are still at the bottom of public trust on just 7%, with more than half of people (53%) trusting them very little. 
nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:
"For charities, trust is their lifeblood. Public trust is a major factor underpinning the donations of time and money by millions of people every year. It is good news that trust is on the increase, but there is still much more that charities and the Charity Commission can do to raise trust levels and with it donations.
It will be very interesting to see how the BBC fares in our next poll in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal. We also noted that in the Public Administration Select Committee, Charlie Elphicke MP suggested charities draw fundraising in and try and win back public confidence and trust. Based on our research, for an MP to lecture charities on regaining trust and confidence is definitely a case of the pot calling the fridge black.”
Please see the slides available for download on this page for more details.
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 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, asking them a range of charity-related questions. Data was used from November 2003, September 2006, July 2007, July 2008, November 2008, July 2009, January 2011, July 2011 and May 2012 Charity Awareness Monitors.
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To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net. If you cannot contact Joe, please contact Rob White (07512 709140; E: rob.white@nfpsynergy.net) for further assistance.
nfpSynergy (www.nfpsynergy.net) is a research consultancy dedicated to the not-for-profit sector. They aim to provide the ideas, the insights and the information to help non-profits thrive. They provide a unique insight into the social and charity-related views of everyone from public and parliament to media and business, not to mention not-for-profit organisations themselves. nfpSynergy has a vast and ever-growing knowledge pool and shares this with the non-profit sector, through both paid work and regular free reports and seminars.


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