By Claire West
This year has marked a negative slew in the public’s perception of charities due to a number of news reports. From the controversial death of poppy seller Olive Cook to the disaster of Kids Company’s “financial mismanagement,” charities have been in the limelight for various misdeeds and mistakes.
But what impact have these stories had on the public’s perception of the charity sector? Yougov’s CharityIndex measures the public’s perception of the sector, asking 100 people each day about their attitudes and opinions of 44 charities.
The index shows that over the last three months there has been a significant decline — the drop of 17 points indicates a continuing trend in negative opinions surrounding charities in the media since mid-May.
The negative media coverage has also translated into a small but notable decline in the sector’s overall brand health. The Index metric dropped off by almost three points in this period, from 81.5 in late May to 78.4 in mid-July, although it has rallied a bit since.
Crucially, the decline in brand health has also fed through into people’s willingness to donate to charities in general. People that are aware of and engaged with charities are now significantly less likely to consider donating £1 to charity than they were three months ago. Their Consideration score — measuring whether they would think about donating — has declined by three percentage points, with the drop beginning in late May.