Almost 80% of people in Northern Ireland have a medium to high level of trust and confidence in charities, according to new research from the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland is the regulator of charities in Northern Ireland, a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Communities (DfC).
Launched on Tuesday 6 September 2016 by Communities Minister, Paul Givan MLA, the research revealed an average trust “score” of 6.2, indicating that Northern Ireland’s charities inspire the trust and confidence of the public.
This compared favourably to England and Wales, where the average score has decreased from 6.7 in 2014 to 5.7 in 2016, highlighting Northern Ireland charities as amongst the most trusted in the UK.
Commenting on the research, Minister Paul Givan said: “Increasing and maintaining high levels of public trust and confidence in charities is crucial in terms of sustaining all of the good work that they provide for our communities.
“I am pleased that the research shows that 79% of those surveyed locally report a medium to high level of trust and confidence in charities.
“Growing or maintaining these levels requires not only effective regulation but commitment by all of those in the charity sector to adopt and practice good governance and transparency.”
The Commission undertook the research – the first of its kind from the regulator – to track the public’s attitude to charities, including what influences trust levels and views on charity regulation.
And the results showed that the public’s confidence in the work of charities remains high, with 79% of respondents reporting a medium to high level of trust in charities.
This translated into on-the-ground support, with 90% of respondents to a survey, carried out in early 2016, revealing they had supported a charity in some way in the six months leading up to the research.
The most common method of support was donating money to a street collector (51%), followed by donating items to a charity shop or charity appeal (43%). Over one fifth – 21% – had supported a charity through a direct debit.
Chief Charity Commissioner, Tom McGrath, commented: “I am delighted to see that, despite some respondents feeling their trust and confidence had decreased recently, Northern Ireland’s charities are still amongst the most trusted in the UK.
“With the Commission having now been established for just over seven years it is also good to see that 94% of people feel proper regulation of charities is important to them.
“Using this research as a benchmark, the Commission will continue working to ensure the charity sector is effectively regulated, helping to reaffirm public trust and confidence in charities.”
The full research report, as well as smaller, snapshot reports focusing on specific areas, as listed below, are available on the Commission’s website at:
Further snapshot reports will be added over coming months.
* Public trust and confidence in charities research report 2016
* Snapshot report 1: Summary of findings
* Snapshot report 2: Drivers of trust and confidence
* Public trust and confidence in charities research infographic