The End of the Affair? Public Trust in the Management of Charities

This report summarises the findings of ACEVO’s Research Inquiry into Public Trust in the Management of Charities, conducted throughout 2005. This focused on public trust in charities, and the role of charity Chief Executives in maintaining the ‘charity’ brand.

The report found that, while trust in charities was high, this was often not based on a full understanding of their operation. Instead, it rested on a widespread support for the work done by charity. This trust can easily be damaged, especially when organisational behaviour fails to live up to the standards set by public perception. It also identified a risk to public trust where charities were becoming involved in the delivery of government services, as it appeared to compromise their independence.

The report contained detailed recommendations for chief executives of charities, to help them maintain public trust in their organisations. These largely revolve around increasing transparency, proactive approaches towards public relations and ensuring oversight over areas such as fundraising.

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