How good are websites at helping charities to be transparent?

Charities are better at talking about transparency than actually being transparent, according to a new report from the consultancy nfpSynergy, which examines how easy it is to find information on the websites of 50 charities.

For the report, entitled Searching for Answers: How Good are Websites at Helping Charities be Transparent?, researchers selected 15 pieces of data that they sought to find on the websites of 50 charities, including the salary of the chief executive or highest-paid employee, the percentage of income spent on fundraising and whether they were a member of the Fundraising Standards Board.

The 50 charities included 13 charities with annual incomes of less than £10million and 15 with incomes of more than £50million. 

Researchers timed how long and how many clicks it took them to find each piece of information, which was translated into a score of between one and five. Zero was awarded if the information could not be found.

Making a donation online came out with an average score of 4.98, the highest result, but finding the chief executive’s salary scored an average of only 1.56. Finding details about the percentage of a charity’s income that was spent on fundraising scored 2.1 and information on trustee expenses came out as 1.4. The lowest score was about whether staff were paid the living wage, which came out with an average of 0.10.

To download the report visit