EXCLUSIVE: Over half of donors feel ‘negatively’ about the charity sector post-Oxfam scandal

Written by Lauren Weymouth

More than 60 per cent of donors feel ‘negatively’ about international aid workers and the charity sector as a whole following the Oxfam Haiti scandal, exclusive figures have revealed.

According to figures shown to the Charity Times from the Toluna Third Sector Survey, more than 60 per cent of respondents said they held negative views of the charity sector following the allegations, while over a third of people said they are less inclined to donate to charities at all.

Over 1,000 people responded to the survey, written by digital insights company Toluna, and almost half said they have at some point donated to Oxfam. Just under 90 per cent of the respondents said they had heard of the Oxfam scandal, and 67 per cent said it had impacted their views of Oxfam negatively.

The survey revealed over half of respondents would not donate to the charity again following the allegations made against the aid charity in February, with 5 per cent admitting they have already cancelled a direct debit to the organisation.

While the views were generally mixed surrounding future donations to Oxfam, just under half of respondents said they felt as though Oxfam hadn’t ‘done enough’ in the wake of the scandal to recover its reputation and reassure donors.

However, not all respondents reacted negatively, with 10 per cent claiming the charity has ‘done everything it can’ and 12 per cent saying it has done ‘just enough’.

Additionally, half of survey respondents said the news surrounding Oxfam wouldn’t sway their decision to donate to the charity again and 27 per cent said the scandal had not impacted their views of Oxfam at all.

Commenting on the results, Toluna managing director, Paul Twite, said the Oxfam scandal caused “significant public outrage and presented a landmark moment for the third sector”.

“What was interesting about the news from a brand perspective was that it caused consumers to question their faith in many similar organisations, revealing widespread concern around ensuring that maximum positive impact is delivered from donations," he said.

Over 1,000 people responded to Toluna’s survey over a 48-hour period following the initial Oxfam reports. The respondents spanned a broad, nationally representative demographic range in real time.

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