ACEVO reflects on the Charity Commission’s latest survey on trust

“The Charity Commission survey provides useful benchmarking statistics but I’m concerned that the framing of the statistics perpetuates an unnecessarily negative narrative.

“We know that there is still work to be done across the sector to improve practices in a number of areas. But there is still a huge amount of positive and impactful activity happening day in, day out, which underpins our society, and much of which the public isn’t thinking of when asked about levels of trust in charities.

“The report acknowledges that, when asked to define charity, very few respondents thought of local charities, cultural institutions or educational organisations, effectively meaning they were responding to questions with a very small proportion of the sector in mind.

“This is not to encourage complacency: charity leaders must have an open mind, continuously learn and be open to improvements that help them better achieve their mission. I support the Charity Commission’s assertion that we should be focusing on impact, stewardship and values.

“However trust is not a static concept, and levels of trust vary across different communities and demographics. I encourage charity leaders to talk about trust with their beneficiaries, donors, volunteers and staff and to take action based on those insights.”

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