UK public’s trust in NGOs rises amid falling global confidence in the sector

Public confidence in NGOs globally is falling with business now the most trusted sector, according to latest research.

However, trust among the UK public in charities has increased, the 2021 Trust Barometer by PR firm Edelman has found.

This annual report looks at public attitudes to institutions, including business, the media and government in 27 countries, including the UK, US, Germany, China and France.

This found that business is the most trusted globally, with a ‘trust index’ rating of 61%, up on last year’s rating. NGOs are second with a rating of 57%, down on 2020. Meanwhile, trust in the government and media are also slipping.

Trust in NGOs fell in 11 of the 27 countries looked at but is up in the UK.

Germany, Ireland, Holland and Australia have also seen levels of increasing trust in NGOs. But trust in NGOs in India, Spain, France, China and Brazil has fallen.

Falling trust in NGOs and government is most pronounced during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government was the most trusted institution in May 2020, but had slipped six percentage points by January this year. NGOs and media slipped by the same margin over that period.

Business is now seen as the only institution that is both “competent and ethical” found the report.

NGOs and the Media are seen as ethical but less competent than business. Government is seen as both unethical and less competent.

Edelman says that across the globe all institutions are working in “an environment of information bankruptcy” and amid “an epidemic of misinformation and widespread mistrust of societal institutions and leaders around the world”.

It adds that Covid-19 has “accelerated the erosion of trust around the world”.

Chief executives' credibility is at “all-time lows in several countries”, adds Edeman, in particular in Japan and France.

The PR firm is calling on government, NGOs, media and business to “partner with one another to solve issues” as well as “find a common purpose and take collective action to solve societal problems”.

Earlier this week a survey by the National Lottery Community Fund found rising support for the work of charities and voluntary groups during the pandemic

The majority of those surveyed said charities "deserve more recognition" for their work.

    Share Story:

Recent Stories


How Age UK navigated a remote call centre in a crisis
In the first of a series of three digital leadership podcasts, Lauren Weymouth chats to Age UK’s Alasdair Stewart about how the charity set up, navigated and successfully delivered The Silver Line phone service remotely during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sponsored by Amazon Web Services



To find out more about cloud computing for charities visit the Amazon Web Services nonprofits page.