New Charity Commission report on public attitudes to charities

The Charity Commission has just published a new report titled ‘Regulating in the public interest – The relationship between Charity, charities and the general public

Whilst the title might not sound too exciting, it is definitely worth a read as it distils a lot of research and goes into detail on how the public see charities, and what they expect from them.  Some key findings are:

  • Charities are still seen as the best but not the only way to channel generousity. An increasing number of people are inclined to support directly, perhaps by volunteering locally or giving to a food bank, rather than through the larger and more established charities. If you can have a local dimension to your engagement strategy, do promote it.
  • People’s trust in charities is recovering but it is still not up to pre-2014 levels. In the trust and confidence poll, charities are rated third after doctors and the police. The public expects charities to be worthy of trust, and being transparent can really help.
  • Charities are increasingly seen as a funnel, getting resources from supporters to the people or cause that needs it. Charities are not seen so much as businesses.

I was interested in one of the quotes in the report, from a member of the public who said

“If I’ve got a spare fiver, who am I going to give it to? I’m probably going to give it to the charity that I have been led to believe will use £4.50 of it for the right people, as opposed to the uncertainty of where everything else is going.”