Trust matters - how the public sees charities

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
This website uses cookies. You can read more about how we use your personal data in our Privacy Notice

‘Trust matters.’ The first two words in the introduction to the Charity Commission’s report ‘Trust in Charities’.   In the light of the emergence of corruption and scandal in some large national and international charities, many managers and staff in the third sector are rightly concerned about how the public views them and the way they work.

The report reiterates three important factors that charities need to demonstrate to retain public confidence:

  • Accountability in achieving stated mission
  • Responsible, honest and transparent management of resources
  • Organisational cultures and behaviours that support and reflect their charitable purposes

The report further states that, whilst public trust in charities has plateaued since 2016, it has increased compared to banks, private companies and politicians.

The research found that 58% of the public that charities perform a valuable role in society - which is positive but – and this is perhaps a key point that local and regional VCSE groups need to consider – the public broadly identifies with large national and international charities rather than local ones.

Does this put more pressure on local charitable groups to be even more accountable and vigilant than national bodies? The report doesn’t say.  But collaborating and working together at local level county is surely an important element in ensuring consistency and stability in service delivery and the continuance of good reputation.