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High Fundraising Standards Big Factor in Public Trust

(Dec. 1, 2009) Ethical fundraising is the number one reason people come to trust a particular charity, according to a recent survey conducted in Britain.

Having a fundraising program that meets "high standards" is considered more important than name recognition and even personal contact with an organization when it comes to whether or not to trust a charity.

In a poll conducted by nonprofit consulting firm nfpSynergy in London, 1,000 people in Britain age 16 and above were asked to answer from a list of options: "What makes you likely to trust a particular charity." The lowest ranking reasons for trusting a charity are that the charity is supported by a celebrity (4 percent), that the charity advertises on television (5 percent) and that the charity has a partnership with a well-known company (7 percent).

Conversely, the highest ranking factors that people say lead them to trust a charity are that they know the charity follows high standards in its fundraising (46 percent), that they have contact with a charity personally (39 percent) and that the charity was established a long time ago (38 percent).

"These results show that fundraisers are truly on the front lines of charitable work," said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president and CEO of AFP. "What fundraisers do, and how they do it, is instrumental to a person's choice whether or not to trust and support a charity. AFP has always emphasized high standards of ethics in fundraising. Simply put, the way you conduct your fundraising matters."

Below are the rankings for all factors that lead a person to trust a charity, according to the survey (participants were asked to list up to five answers from a pre-written list of responses).

Reasons for Trust in Charities

  • I know the charity follows high standards in their fundraising - 46%
  • I have had contact with the charity personally - 39%
  • The charity was established a long time ago - 38%
  • A friend or family member has had contact with the charity - 38%
  • The charity is a member of the Fundraising Standards Board (a UK nonprofit organization) - 30%
  • The charity is based in my local area - 28%
  • I have heard of the name of the charity - 23%
  • The charity receives funding from the government - 12%
  • The charity has a partnership with a well-known company - 7%
  • The charity advertises on television - 5%
  • The charity is supported by a celebrity - 4%
  • Nothing would make me likely to trust a charity - 7%

This poll was conducted in September 2009. For more information, go to www.nfpsynergy.net.



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