London offices are a waste of charities' money, says survey

Three in four people think that London-based offices for charities are a waste of money, new research shows.

The public also take a dim view of paying for rebranding, but more than half say they would feel confident that a charity spends donations well if they vetoed first class travel for staff.

The poll of 1002 adults by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 74% of people feel London-based offices for charities are ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ wasteful, with just 4% saying they were even ‘fairly’ worthwhile.

Rebranding provokes the same sentiment for 72% of people, with just 9% seeing their worth.

More positively, two thirds of people deem advertising worthy of spending money on and 70% feel the same about developing a website.

Nearly half think it’s worthwhile for charities to create magazines to update donors on their work, while 58% see the value of spending donations on lobbying.

When the nationally representative poll asked people to name ways a charity could make them feel confident they’d spend a donation well, 62% said a veto on first class travel for staff.

Just over half said the same about a charity run mostly by volunteers and one where no one earns over £50,000 a year.

One in five would feel confident if staff paid for their own Christmas party, while one in ten opted for staff working for free one day a month.

nfpSynergy’s driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said: “London offices make complete sense for many charities, so they need to be honest and proactive about the benefits. Being in London provides a much better pool of staff to recruit in and the small savings outside London would be a false economy.

"The same is true about paying someone more than £50,000 and £100,000. If that person brings a skillset, a breadth of experience and other benefits, be proactive and tell the world about it.

"I think every major charity can justify paying their CEO over £100k. What charities need to remember is that if London offices or £100k salaries are worthwhile, they need to scream and shout about why.

"The sector needs to talk about these issues now, not hope that nobody notices what they are doing.”

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


How does a digital transformation affect charity fundraising?
After an extremely digital couple of years, charities have been forced to adopt new technologies at a rapid pace. For many charities, surviving the pandemic has meant undergoing a fast and efficient digital transformation, simply to exist in a remote world. But what effects has this had on fundraising? And what lessons can charities learn from each other? Lauren Weymouth chats with experts from software provider, Advanced, to find out more.

Better Society