Sixty-two percent of American donors feel a great deal or fair amount of confidence in public charities, and more than 80% consider their work to help people very good or somewhat so.
At the same time, a new poll commissioned by The Chronicle of Philanthropy found significant concerns about nonprofits’ spending. A third of respondents said they did a poor or bad job spending money wisely, and 41% said their leaders were paid too much.
Half of donors surveyed said they looked very closely for low spending on salaries, administration and fundraising before writing a check. Another 34% said this was a somewhat important consideration.
For the study, Princeton Survey Research Associates International surveyed 1,000 adults in June, asking several questions identical to those included in polls that Princeton conducted from 2002 to 2008 on behalf of Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University.
The Chronicle said confidence in charities was nearly the same as in 2008, when 64% of respondents expressed a great deal or fair amount of confidence.
Researchers asked respondents about charities’ effectiveness and spending habits. Twenty-five percent said nonprofits did a very good job helping people, and 18% said their programs and services were run very well.