Earlier this year, the (former) Charities Commission asked an external research agency, UMR, to measure public trust and confidence in charities. Similar surveys were run in 2008 and 2010. You can read the full results (and earlier survey results) on our website, but here is a summary of what UMR found, and how they ran the survey:
· Online “opt-in” survey
· 2,000 respondents
· Run late March ̶early April 2012
· Data weighted by age, gender and region
· Margin of error 2.2%
Trust and confidence in charities
The survey found that 44% of respondents had a high level of trust and confidence in charities, down by 11% since 2010, and 14% since 2008.
Publicity about charities’ fundraising and easier access to information about charities is likely to have influenced public perceptions about charities. Views may also have been influenced by the economic climate, and a shift in support to organisations working to assist recovery in Christchurch.
Personal experiences with charities a key driver of trust
Respondent’s personal experiences of charities were overwhelmingly positive.
Ninety-two per cent of respondents who had received services from a charity in the previous twelve months said they would trust the charity again in the future, 90% said they had been treated fairly by the charity, and 88% said they would support it in the future.
The number of people reporting they donated more than $250 in the 12 months leading up to the survey increased to 34%, up from 32% in 2010, and 26% in 2008.
Respondents said that what most influenced them to donate to a charity was that: “They work towards an end cause that is important to me.”
NOTE: Data from the Charities Register shows that over the past three calendar years, donations and koha given to the 25,500 registered charities have risen and fallen again, from $868m in 2009, to $1.03b in 2010, then to $885m in 2011.
Involvement with charities
Respondents said they were most commonly involved with “culture and recreation organisations such as arts, culture and sports clubs”, with 40% of saying they were involved with this type of organisation, up from 32% in 2010, and 35% in 2008.
The general type of organisation to which respondents were most likely to donate has shifted during the last 12 months to those providing services and support to Christchurch (47%). Support for every other type of organisation has declined in favour of these charities.
Street collections most favoured way of donating
The most common way of donating is still through street collections (51%), although this method also showed a decrease of 6% since the previous survey.
Awareness of the Charities Register as a source of info about charities
The survey showed a significant increase in public awareness of the former Charities Commission (up from 57% in 2008, to 80% in 2012), and that awareness of the Charities Registration Number had increased from 28% in 2008 to 41% in 2012.