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Trust And Confidence In The Charitable Sector

Charities Commission Publishes Benchmark Survey Of Trust And Confidence In The Charitable Sector

The Charities Commission today published a benchmark survey into the level of public trust and confidence in the New Zealand charitable sector.

The Commission undertook the research as part of its mandate to promote research into matters relating to charities and to promote public confidence in the sector.

“This research provides useful information about the way in which the New Zealand public currently views charities, and gives us a benchmark against which we can measure changes in perceptions of the charitable sector,” Trevor Garrett, Charities Commission chief executive, said.

The release of the survey comes as the Commission continues to make progress in its initial registration of charitable organisations.

“We have received more than 26,000 applications for registration since the Charities Register opened on 1 February 2007, of which just over 16,000 have been processed and registered.

“Information collected by the Commission and available on the public Register at www.charities.govt.nz means potential donors and supporters can look at a registered charity’s purpose, activities, beneficiaries and financial information, to help inform their decisions. The public can be confident that organisations on the Register have proved they have a charitable purpose and have met the Charities Act’s criteria.”

Just over 2,000 respondents took part in the survey, conducted by UMR Research.

As well as testing the level of trust and confidence in charities, the survey also looked into how the public saw the characteristics and behaviours of charities, what influenced their decisions to support a charity, the amounts they donated, and the level of involvement the public has in charitable organisations and activities.

The survey’s key findings were that:

• 58% of respondents reported a high level of trust and confidence in charities. Only 7% reported a low level of trust and confidence in charities.

• A majority of respondents expressed a high level of trust in charities to:
- make a positive difference to the matters they address (55%), and
- ensure that their fundraisers are ethical and honest (51%).

• The most influential characteristic in the decision to support a charity was that ‘they make a positive difference to the matters they address’ (41%), followed by ‘they ensure a reasonable proportion of donations get to the end cause’ (18%).

• A majority firmly agreed that:
- I feel more confident in charities that are open about how they use their resources (84%)
- I trust charities more if I have heard of them (75%)
- charities play a very important role in society today (74%)
- I trust charities more if they are clear about how they are managed (73), and
- I trust charities if they assist locally (54).

Charitable organisations working in the health and medical sectors were the most common types that respondents donated to in the past 12 months.

A quarter of respondents said they donated more than $250 to charities in the past 12 months. Nineteen percent donated nothing or up to $20.


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