Public trust in American institutions has been eroding in recent years, and a recent report indicates that these includes charitable organizations.
Although 73% of Americans consider it very important to trust a charity before giving, only 19% say they highly trust charities and just 10% are optimistic that the sector will become more trustworthy over time, according to a new research from the Better Business Bureau’s Give.org, a standards-based charity evaluator.
“We rely on charities to solve some of society’s most challenging problems and it is startling to learn only a small percentage of Americans highly trust charities,” H. Art Taylor, president and chief executive of BBB’s Give.org, said in a statement.
“This report shows the need to strengthen public trust in the charitable sector, and reminds us that the ability of charitable organizations to thrive in the future is closely tied to their ability to understand how rising — and more diverse — generations think about trust, engagement and generosity.”
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The report was based on an electronic survey of some 2,100 U.S. adults conducted last December, and on secondary research on charitable donations and on donor expectation data gathered by Gallup in 1993 and Princeton Survey Research Associates in 2001.
The research showed that survey respondents rated religious organizations most favorably, followed by animal welfare and civil rights and community action groups.
Not-for-profit hospitals and health organizations experienced the biggest upward shift in public trust perception between 2001 and 2017, while educational groups and police and firefighter organizations saw a falloff in perceived public trust.