Reports of abuse at Oxfam have not affected trust in charities, research finds

Written by Lauren Weymouth

A high proportion of the general public still believe charities are trustworthy, despite recent reports surrounding abuse and sexual allegations at some of the UK’s biggest charities, research has revealed.

New research from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), based on a YouGov poll carried out from 13-19 February, found around half of people across the UK still have trust in the sector, even though the poll was taken in the week after stories about the Oxfam Haiti scandal were first published.

The research showed levels of trust in charities were consistent with those in previous months, with 49 per cent agreeing that most charities are trustworthy. This is consistent with levels of trust in charities recorded since CAF began researching trust in May 2016.

Overall, 21 per cent of those surveyed disagreed that charities were trustworthy.

According to CAF’s 2017 annual UK Giving report, at an overall level, half of the population believed that most charities were trustworthy across the whole of 2016.

A total of 1,083 adults took part in the online poll, which is part of CAF’s monthly polling that makes up the UK Giving report.

Commenting on the research, CAF chief executive Sir John Low said people in the UK are “incredibly generous” and consistently give around £10bn to charity every year.

“Nothing is more important to charities than the trust of those who support them and make it possible to carry out the work they do, as well as the trust of those who rely upon them. Charities know they cannot take this for granted,” he added.

“One of the reasons why we think levels of trust remain high is that people in Britain are really motivated to support causes they care about and that touch their lives in some way. That desire to help others underpins our record as one of the most generous countries on earth and is something we always need to protect.”

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