What the public likes and dislikes about charities

How charities spend their money and what they do are more of a concern for the public than fundraising methods, according to a poll carried out by Ipsos Mori for the think tank NPC.

Earlier this year a 1,000-strong representative sample of the public was asked the question ‘What, if anything are the main things that charities are doing wrong?’ without being given any suggested answers. The findings have been published in Having their say: what the public likes and dislikes about charities.

Around 600 responses were then categorised into three areas, which were how charities use money, what they do and how charities raise money. 43 percent of those polled did not answer, said there was nothing wrong, or did not know.

Issues about how charities use money attracted the most criticism, with 31 percent. Concerns about running costs, staff salaries, executive pay and lack of transparency fell into this category.

28 percent of respondents were concerned about what charities do. This includes not making a difference, being too much like a business and being too political.

Concerns relating to fundraising made up 15 percent, with face-to-face fundraising accounting for just six percent.

Those who did not trust charities made more complaints about how charities use or spend money than those who have a high level of trust, while the proportion of concerns relating to fundraising was broadly the same for both camps.  

NPC has also noted a correlation between the people who have a high trust in charities and those who are engaged in any way with the sector with those people that were engaged with charities in some way were less likely to have complaints about their practices.

More than 80 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that charities should be transparent about how money is spent.  

To download the report visit www.thinknpc.org/publications/having-their-say-what-the-public-likes-and-dislikes-about-charities.