THE public are becoming increasingly distrustful of charities in the UK, after a series of high-profile scandals raised questions over aggressive fund-raising tactics and the embellishment of funds, research for the Charity Commission suggests.
Of the 1000 people who took part in the survey, by Populus, 33 per cent referred to media coverage in the past two years as the main reason for their distrust. The trust rating of charities has declined by ten per cent to 57 per since 2014.
In that time, Kids Company was accused of financial mismanagement, resulting in its collapse, and Olive Cooke, a 92-year-old who had donated more than 40 causes, took her own life (News, 22 May 2015).
The research found that 67 per cent believed that charities spent too much on salaries and administration, while 74 per cent were uncomfortable about certain fund-raising methods: up from 58 per cent and 66 per cent in 2014, respectively.
Writing in the Guardian, the chair of the Charity Commission, William Shawcross, said that the decline, while not huge, was a “wake-up call” for donors in the UK. MPs offered charity trustees a “last chance” for self-regulation in January (News, 29 January).