Tuesday, 24 April 2018 18:10

Charities now have a worse reputation than payday lenders

We've always known it, but now it seems that even the public agrees. A recent survey conducted for Polls.co.uk shows that the charity sector now has a lower approval rating than short-term lenders. Including losing out in a direct head to head with the lending industry.

In a poll that ran from March the 1st, 2018, to March 31st, 2018. A survey of 3122 people identified that the Charity sector was now the least trusted of any industry in the UK, including the lending sector and specifically the payday loan market.

Of those who were polled, the reasons cited by those critical of charities included unjustifiably high salaries, a culture of bullying and sexual misconduct. Yet the most popular reason given was the amount of money eaten up by expenses before it reached those it was meant to help. 

In a way this isn't surprising, recent events that have hit the headlines have included UNICEF with the systematic child abuse scandal in Haiti, the sacking of whistleblowers who tried to alert authorities. The Brendan Cox scandal which wasn't covered by the mainstream media until this year, even though we warned our readers 2 years ago that this was happening and not to follow the Saint Brendan narrative.

In addition to the scandals related to bullying, there are the unjustifiably high salaries that some in the charity industry command. Take for example the Wellcome Trust who paid one of its staff members 3.06m in 2016. The average CEO wage across the top 100 UK charities is now over £255,000 according to the report from the third sector. Even those that staff local Charity shops can command around £30,000 a year in salary. Compared to those in the private sector whose salaries are often significantly lower.

Finally, we reached the point which caused most unease - the amount of money reaching good causes. Some charities out there get away with spending as low as 1% on actual good causes, the other 99% being eaten up with operating costs (salaries and expenses). Whilst some charities will spend all 100% on the good cause, it's the ones that spend the least that continue to get the headlines and tarnish the good charities out there.  

One investigation by the True and Fair foundation found that in 2015, "292 charities with a combined income of over £2.4 billion spent less than 10% on their described activities". The worst being Lloyd's Register Foundation that spent less than 1% of their income on activities. 

The overall view of the public these days is that charities are out there to raise money to cover their own expenses rather than that of their stated good cause. In truth, people that chose the charity sector for their careers are often unemployable in the real world. Certainly, on nothing like the salaries or being allowed the responsibility they are receiving in the charity sector.

You can imagine that this image has been magnified by several major websites that have sprung up to collect money for charities. Sites like JustGiving take 10% profit on every pound donated on their site. Many are under the false illusion that sites like this operate as not for profit, which they don't. They are full for-profit private companies like any high street loan company.

In a direct comparison poll between Lenders v Charities, Lenders came out on top with a score of 28% who found them less trustworthy than Charities. Whilst Charities came in at 65% of those polled finding they were less trustworthy than lenders.

The rise in the popularity of our own sector comes as a welcome surprise. We will leave it to others as to the reasons why, we are hoping that next year we will be more trustworthy than MP's.

The full poll can be found on polls.co.uk - below is a breakdown of the survey.

Out of the following, which do you find least trustworthy.

1) Charity - 19%

2) Payday Lenders - 17%

3) Political - 15%

4) Legal Profession - 14%

5) Police - 11%

6) Estate Agents - 6%

7) Medical Profession - 6%

8) Teachers - 5%

9) Social Care - 4%

10) Security Services 3%

Details showing which UK profession is least trusted