Negative charity headlines have impacted perception of the sector

May 17, 2018, 10:21 AM UTC

Negative headlines about some charities have damaged the perception of the sector overall, new analysis from YouGov CharityIndex shows.

While most charities broadly managed to escape dramatic declines in their perception scores, the rating of the sector as a whole fell. At the end of Q1 2018, a majority of the charities YouGov tracks had seen declines in their Index scores (which measures overall brand health). Across several areas, metrics have seen year-on-year declines – being lower than they were in Q1 2017.

YouGov CharityIndex data shows that this is most pronounced when looking at whether people would be proud or embarrassed to work for a charity. On this front, the industry wide score dropped from +23 to +21 – a statistically significant decline. However, it is important to note that while there has been an overall fall in this particular metric, many charities still have very strong scores on this measure – competing with popular brands such as John Lewis and Marks and Spencer.

The analysis of YouGov CharityIndex data shows that there have also been notable falls across other metrics. The sector’s average Recommend score (which measures whether someone would speak positively or negatively about a charity to others) has dropped from +19 in Q1 2017, to +17 in Q1 2018. There has been a similar dip in the sector-wide Quality score (whether a charity has a positive or negative impact on their cause), which has also decreased, from +32 to +30.

It should be noted that the last time charities faced persistent negative headlines – in 2015 and 2016 – the scores recovered over time. While the latest wave of stories have dented the public’s perception, a similar recovery could well happen again.  

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