Trust in charities

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The role of trust in fostering and sustaining public engagement - for both individual charities and for the sector in general - drawing on recent nfpSynergy data and
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  • I agree, trust is a very important part when it comes to charities, people want to know that there donations go to good causes! The Clare Foundation offers some great charity services that can help charities grow in a business perspective. - http://theclarefoundation.org/CAN2.html
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  • Looking at trends over time, we see that trust in charities has been increasing steadily since 2007, from 42% to 70% before falling to 53% in the latest wave. Charity Commission research does not find the same increase in trust, rather that public trust in charities has remained static over the last few years, and that a growing proportion of the public think charities work for the public benefit (up from 64% to 68%). There has been no increase in trust in the Fundraising Standards Board, which achieves lower trust scores due to many respondents not recognising the name of the organisation. Given that the organisation was only launched in 2007, it is perhaps unsurprising that it has not yet become widely known and trusted. Interestingly however, fundraising standards and membership of the Fundraising Standards Board has been identified by the public when prompted as likely to encourage trust in a particular charity.
  • Trust in media and commercial organisations has proved prone to fluctuations. Trust in banks has unsurprisingly fallen since 2006, from 41% to just 19%, although the decrease hasn’t been completely linear, having seen a slight increase between July 2007 and July 2008 perhaps explained by the Government underwriting bank deposits in October 2007.
  • Trust in Government has proved volatile and relatively low since Brown entered office in Summer 2007. This suggests that a recession is not entirely harmful to Government trust, given the increase in trust in November 2008 after the bank bailout. It will be interesting to see how this measure of trust changes under the Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition Government, given the public sector spending cuts anticipated. Trust in political parties has remained low since we began tracking at the height of the expenses crisis. Politicians were the profession least trusted to tell the truth (13%) in a face-to-face survey carried out in Sep 2009 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians. (Government Ministers scored only slightly better at 16%).
  • This slide indicates that, despite a number of news stories with the potential to compromise trust in traditional institutions, the Armed Forces, Royal Family, Church and legal system have maintained levels of trust over the past 4 years, and appear to be resistant in terms of trust.
  • Among public services, trust increased particularly during the banking crisis and seems to be falling slightly as the health of the UK economy starts to recover, suggesting these institutions may be particularly looked to during times of economic uncertainty as they offer stability and protection. The wave of public sector cuts currently under way is likely to have implications for trust levels in the future. The high levels of trust we see in the NHS here fit with doctors being identified as the most trusted profession to tell the truth (92%), just ahead of teachers (88%), professors (80%) and judges (80%). (Sep 2009 face-to-face survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians).
  • Looking at the difference between the highest and lowest trust scores of each institution, we find unsurprisingly that banks have seen the biggest change on trust, experiencing plummeting levels of trust after the banking crisis. Charities are not far behind, in second place. The NHS, Schools, and the BBC have also seen considerable changes in levels of trust since 2003. The Armed Forces, at the opposite end of the list, have seen little change in trust, having maintained consistently high levels of trust. Political parties, tracked only twice, have also seen little change in trust, remaining among the least trusted organisations.
  • Diagram above indicates which demographic groups are more likely to trust each of the institutions shown.
  • Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who have donated to charity recently are more likely to trust charities (76% compared with 53% of non-donors). However the question remains as to whether those who are pre-disposed for other reasons to trust charities therefore make a donation on the basis of this trust, or whether those who support charities are led to trust charities more through receiving communications about their work and being more informed. Given that recent donors are more likely than non-donors to trust many other institutions, this suggests the former explanation may be more plausible. Whether trust leads to donations or donations lead to trust, this suggests that trust in charities is not sufficient for donating to charity - some non-donors do trust charities. Regular worshippers are 10 percentage points more likely than non-worshippers to trust charities a great deal, and are in general more likely to trust other institutions.
  • Asking the public to identify from a prompted list what is most likely to make them trust a particular charity, we find that following high standards in fundraising is the top reason identified as important for trust, selected by over half of the public among their top 5 reasons.
  • However the top 5 spots are dominated by reasons relating to personal contact with a charity - either oneself or through a friend or family member, or through the charity being based locally (highlighted). Endorsements by Government, a well-known company or a celebrity feature lower down the list, and advertising on television is selected by just 8% of the public. Although these may not be rationally identified as likely to lead to trust in a charity, they may still have a strong effect subconsciously on trust in an organisation through their impact on the public’s awareness of the organisation and its work.
  • The importance of personal contact with an organisation is shown in those who report having some experience of cancer being more likely to trust cancer charities, but not necessarily more likely to trust all charities prompted.
  • Different demographic groups are more likely to pick out different reasons for trusting a charity.
  • 44% of the public saying that being long-established is likely to make them trust a charity, and when we look at trust levels against year of establishment, we find a small rise in trust among charities founded a long time ago.
  • Many commercial brands have used longevity as an emotional shortcut to trust and brand affinity- for example, Marks and Spencer’s recent 125 years promotion, Hovis adverts evoking over 100 years of bread making history, and ‘retro’ packaging. A long history can be used both to build perceptions of quality, and to harness the ‘powerful emotional appeal’ of the past (nVision Magic Nostalgia trend), where ‘the pleasures in life were generally simpler and healthier’. However, reminiscing about the past is not suitable for all brands: in the commercial sector, technology brands must fit with the futuristic nature of their products, while for charities set up with a specific achievement as their aim (for example, curing cancer), emphasising their history may make them seem ineffective, having taken so long to complete their mission. Where the aim is looking after children or improving patient care, being able to point to years of hard work by the organisation is more likely to build a sense of competency through experience and a constant commitment to the cause.
  • Having a high prompted awareness score has a small impact on trust levels, suggesting it not only matters whether the respondent has heard of the charity, but whether the charity is widely known. However, breadth of awareness is not the only relevant factor for trust.
  • When we ask the public about perceptions of small, medium and large charities in terms of income, we find that small charities come top in terms of being considered ‘generally trustworthy organisations’, followed by medium sized organisations, despite large and medium sized charities being more likely to be considered ‘usually quite professional in their approach’.
  • By contrast however, when we ask about brand specific trust of the organisations respondents are aware of, it is the large charity brands that top the list. Macmillan Cancer Support and RNLI attracted the two highest scores for ‘a great deal of trust’, at 41% and 38% respectively. This fits with recent findings by the Reputation Institute, which tested 10 charity brands in terms of reputation alongside a number of corporate brands and found that Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) achieved 95.1 out of 100, the highest score ever recorded by the institute. In general health charities score incredibly well, while some sensory impairment charities and social welfare charities also scored highly. We see a very similar picture in our Brand Attributes research, where the organisations most likely to be thought of as trustworthy among those tested are largely health or sensory impairment charities. The findings are consistent with the high trust scores seen for the NHS in general, and for doctors as a profession, and the place of cancer as the most common ‘favourite cause’ among the British public, which may suggest that these charities have a more favourable starting point for building brand trust because of their area of work.
  • The charities’ area of work has an impact on which groups are most likely to trust the organisation. For example, parents are more likely to trust children’s charities, but are not necessarily more likely to trust all charities.
  • Though active Christians are more likely to trust charities with Christian connections, they are also more likely to trust almost all charities prompted. The gap for Christian charities is generally larger however. For Christian Aid, the difference in trust levels between active Christians and those of other or no faith is particularly large, Christians being 20 percentage points more likely to trust the organisation. Although we find a correlation between being a regular worshipper and supporting international charities, we do not necessarily see higher trust among active Christians for all international charities - Oxfam is an exception.
  • To summarise, 5 key factors impact upon levels of trust in charities. Firstly, external events, such as negative media stories, can affect trust in charities in general and specific organisations. Charities, unlike some other institutions, are not immune to fluctuations in levels of trust. Secondly, the cause itself matters for trust- international charities tend to score lower for trust than health, sensory impairment or cancer charities, who score particularly well as organisations. Personal contact with a charity is also important, both as a reported reason for trusting a charity, and when we examine brand specific trust among demographics who are more likely to have contact with an organisation. For example, children’s charities are more trusted among parents, and cancer charities among those who have experienced cancer themselves or through a close family member or friend. Breadth of public awareness has also emerged as a key factor promoting trust in charities- widely known charities are in general more likely to be trusted than less well-known organisations. Finally, being long established as an organisation has both been identified by the public as important and shown to drive trust when we compare brand specific trust with year of establishment.
  • Looking at how trust relates to the way charities spend their donations, an area we know is at the top of the public’s list of concerns about charities, overall, half the public trust charities a fair amount to spend a donation wisely, and a further fifth trust charities a great deal. This measure has seen a small increase (up 11 percentage points) since September 2007, in line with growing trust in charities more generally. However, unsurprisingly perhaps, we find that donors are more trusting of charities to spend a donation wisely than non-donors: 76% of those who gave money to charity in the last 3 months trust charities a great deal or a fair amount to spend a donation wisely, compared with 50% of non-donors. Raising the point that trust alone is not sufficient to encourage a donation to charity, we find that trust in charities to spend a donation wisely is increasing among non-donors in particular. Charities can be encouraged that a lack of trust about spending is less likely to stand in the way of new donors than in previous years. Other research into barriers to giving suggests that trust in charities to spend their donations is a key measure of trust for charities, because concerns about charity spending top the list of off-putting or concerning aspects of charities, and many people over-estimate how much charities spend on administration and fundraising.
  • We know that experiences of fundraising and perceptions of high standards of fundraising are a driver of trust in charities, but general levels of trust also have implications for the public’s receptiveness to fundraising in future. 59% of the public recognise that charities have to spend money in advertising and marketing to raise money for their work and so that they can continue to make a difference to society, but the remaining 40% are unsure about charities’ need to fundraise. Furthermore, the chart above shows that only just over half of the public are confident that charities strive to achieve the highest professional standards at all times, and only around a third feel that charities respect their right to privacy and don’t subject them to pressure or a hard sell when fundraising. In July 2010, a fifth of the public responded ‘none of these’ when asked how they preferred to be asked for money by a charity, indicating a certain degree of hostility towards fundraising activity. This score rises among lower social grades and those under 25 and over 55.
  • We asked the public which two types of organisations they would be most likely to trust across a range of areas of work, prompting them with the following options: National Charity Local Charity Central Government Local Authority The NHS Companies The chart above shows the proportion of the public who picked national charities for each area of work and local charities- we see there are different areas where local charities come to the fore and where national charities are most trusted to deliver services.
  • The public are least likely to respond that ‘none of these’ organisations are trusted when it comes to cancer services, or services for other vulnerable groups such as disabled people or older people. Climate change, supporting victims and witnesses of crime and the environment attract the highest scores, followed by international poverty alleviation and development. This may reflect a general view that these issues are not easy to tackle, and therefore none of the organisations suggested can successfully do so. It may also link to a lack of public awareness of big charities working in these areas, although services for disabled people attracts a low score despite there being no clear charity brand “market leader” in this area of work.
  • Trust in charities

    1. 1. Trust in charities: the levers of power March 2011 <ul><li>Tel: 020 7426 8888 </li></ul><ul><li>Email: joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net </li></ul><ul><li>Web: www.nfpsynergy.net </li></ul>
    2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Which institutions do the public trust most? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes people trust charities? </li></ul><ul><li>Why does trust matter for charities? </li></ul><ul><li>10 things you can do to increase trust in your charity </li></ul>J
    3. 3. Which institutions do the public trust most?
    4. 4. Most trusted Least trusted
    5. 5. What about charities? 7 th in the list
    6. 6. How is trust changing?
    7. 7. Volatile levels of trust in charities “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” A great deal or quite a lot Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy
    8. 8. So charities have dropped sharply in the most recent poll
    9. 9. But what about other sectors?
    10. 10. BBC and banks rocked by scandals “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” October 2008 Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank calls August 2007 Banking crisis starts with Northern Rock in the UK October 2007 Government guarantees bank deposits up to £35,000 October 2008 Government guarantees bank deposits up to £50,000 RBS under state control September 2008 Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy July 2007 New TV phone-in scandal: BBC kept £100,000 of Children In Need cash for itself May 2010 BBC apologise for DJ Danny Kelly's 'Queen is dead' jibe November 2009 Mark Thompson's 70p claims exposed as BBC expenses published June 2009 Top BBC bosses' expenses revealed September 2006 'Obscene' £18m pay deal for TV's Jonathan Ross Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy
    11. 11. Trust in government and political institutions always low “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” May 2009 Expenses scandal breaks Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy May 2010 General Election Con-Dem coalition formed May 2007 Tony Blair resigns, Gordon Brown becomes Prime Minister
    12. 12. Traditional institutions very stable “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” A great deal or quite a lot Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy
    13. 13. Trust in public services increased during the recession “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” A great deal or quite a lot August 2007 Banking crisis starts with Northern Rock in the UK September 2008 Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy January 2009 UK officially enters recession January 2010 UK returns to positive economic growth June 2010 Emergency budget announces significant cuts in public spending Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy
    14. 14. 5 most volatile trust scores 5 least volatile trust scores Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2006-2011, nfpSynergy Highest- lowest trust score 1.Banks -35% 2. Charities 28% 3. The NHS 21% 4. Schools 21% 5. The BBC 20% 15. Legal system 7% 16. The Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) 7% 17. Insurance companies 6% 18. The Armed Forces 4% 19. Political Parties 3%
    15. 15. In the socio-economics of 21 st century Britain, no brand will own anything other than a temporary lease on the consumer’s interest and affection. The challenge represented by potentially rampant disloyalty sits on the Marketing Director’s windowsill every morning. Source: nVision
    16. 16. The story so far <ul><li>Trust in charities has dropped in the most recent poll </li></ul><ul><li>But some types of institutions appear to be more volatile than others </li></ul><ul><li>This is true whether they are highly trusted (like the Armed Forces) or trusted very little (like political parties) </li></ul><ul><li>External events appear to be key in changing levels of trust </li></ul><ul><li>But it is hard to prove cause and effect </li></ul>
    17. 17. Does trust vary by age or gender?
    18. 18. Under 45s Over 45s
    19. 19. Recent donors and regular worshippers more likely to trust charities “ Below is a list of public bodies and institutions. Please indicate, by ticking in the appropriate column, how much trust you have in each of the bodies” Charities Base: 1,012 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 11, nfpSynergy
    20. 20. So what makes people trust charities? R
    21. 21. What do the public say?
    22. 22. Fundraising standards make charities trustworthy Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ What makes you likely to trust a particular charity? Please select up to 5 options.”
    23. 23. Personal contact matters too Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ What makes you likely to trust a particular charity? Please select up to 5 options.”
    24. 24. For example, personal experience of cancer encourages trust in cancer charities Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Quite a lot and A great deal scores
    25. 25. Demographic differences in drivers of trust Personal Contact The charity is based in my local area I have had contact with the charity personally A friend or family member has had contact with the charity Fundraising I know the charity follows high standards in their fundraising Long-establishment The charity was established a long time ago Awareness I have heard of the name of the charity The charity advertises on television Endorsement The charity is supported by a celebrity The charity has a partnership with a well-known company The charity receives funding from the Government Resistant to trusting charities Nothing would make me likely to trust a charity
    26. 26. What matters for charity specific trust?
    27. 27. Being long-established helps a bit Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Ranked by Quite a lot and A great deal scores Year of Establishment Trust Macmillan Cancer Support Teenage Cancer Trust UNICEF OXFAM Arthritis Research UK GOSHCC
    28. 29. As does building broad public awareness Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Ranked by Quite a lot and A great deal scores Prompted awareness Trust Well known and trusted Not well known and not trusted RNLI Oxfam Macmillan Cancer Support
    29. 30. What about charity size?
    30. 31. Smaller charities have an advantage in trust “ From the following statements, please indicate whether you think each applies to any of the following organisations: large charities (with an annual income of over £10 million), medium sized charities (with an annual income of between £1 million and £10 million), small charities (with an annual income of under £1 million).” They are generally trustworthy organisations Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Nov 09, nfpSynergy
    31. 32. Does type of cause matter?
    32. 33. Well-known health charities dominate top 20 list Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Ranked by Quite a lot and A great deal scores
    33. 34. Sensory impairment and social welfare charities also score well Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Ranked by Quite a lot and A great deal scores
    34. 35. Parents more likely to trust children’s charities Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Quite a lot and A great deal scores
    35. 36. Base: All those who have heard of each organisation among 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ Please tell me to what extent you trust each of these charities.” Quite a lot and A great deal scores Christians are generally more likely to trust charities, especially Christian organisations
    36. 37. Key drivers of trust for charities - Negative media stories + Health, cancer - International + Contacted the charity or know someone who has + Well-known - Niche + Long-established - New organisation
    37. 38. Why does trust matter for charities? J
    38. 39. What are charities trusted to do?
    39. 40. Spend donations wisely Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain. Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 10, nfpSynergy “ When you think about charities in general, how much do you trust them to spend a donation wisely/ make good use of a donation? Please choose the one that most represents your views” Recent donors Non donors
    40. 41. A sizeable minority remain unsure “ Thinking about the charities you regularly support, please indicate to what extent you agree with each of the following statements“ Agree Base: 954 adults who support charities, 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jul 10, nfpSynergy
    41. 42. Local and national charities trusted to deliver different services “ Please indicate which two types of organisations you would trust the most to deliver services to particular groups in society ” Base: 1003 adults 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 10, nfpSynergy National Local
    42. 43. Environment and crime are areas where the public struggle to identify a trusted organisation “ Please indicate which two types of organisations you would trust the most to deliver services to particular groups in society ” Base: 1003 adults 16+, Britain Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan 10, nfpSynergy
    43. 44. A framework for trust <ul><li>What makes a charity trustworthy? </li></ul>Fundraise responsibly Spend donations wisely Provide services effectively <ul><li>Vary by: </li></ul><ul><li>Charity size </li></ul><ul><li>Area of work </li></ul><ul><li>Brand name </li></ul>2) How much are charities trusted? 3) What are charities trusted to do? Levels of Trust External events Type of cause Breadth of public awareness Length of establishment Personal contact with the organisation
    44. 45. 10 things you can do to increase trust in your charity <ul><li>Emphasise your charity’s age </li></ul><ul><li>Increase your awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Tell people about your endorsements and awards and grants </li></ul><ul><li>Tell people about how you are battling to improve performance and cut costs </li></ul><ul><li>Tell people about how you recruit only the best staff </li></ul><ul><li>Pledge people things – e.g. complaints </li></ul><ul><li>Sprinkle your website and literature with reassuring facts </li></ul><ul><li>Choose the cause that maximises trust </li></ul><ul><li>Give stakeholders a person they can talk to – not an info@ </li></ul><ul><li>Tell people things they don’t need to know </li></ul>
    45. 46. 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH (w) www.nfpsynergy.net (t) 020 7426 8888 (e) insight@nfpsynergy.net Registered office: 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH Registered in England No. 04387900 VAT Registration 839 8186 72

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