Backlash fuels charity donation crash

backlashEven the most impassioned charity supporters are reining in their donations to good causes, as the backlash against charities’ aggressive marketing methods threatens to wreak havoc in the sector.
That is the stark conclusion of an new sector analysis produced using YouGov’s CharityIndex, which asked 100 known charity supporters each day about their attitudes and opinions of 44 charities.
This group was chosen as they are charities’ natural constituency and any change in their opinions could prove disastrous for the sector as a whole.
It shows that the double whammy of negative media coverage and a major fall in so-called “brand health” over the past three months has seriously affected people’s willingness to donate to charities.
Writing in Third Sector, YouGov associate director of public sector and not for profit Briony Gunstone, said: “While it is inevitable that negative news stories will have reached the eyes and ears of people most engaged with charities, the concern for the sector is that the media frenzy seems to have reduced some people’s willingness to donate.
According to the report, charities’ “buzz” score – which gauges the group’s reaction to press coverage – crashed by 17 points, indicating an ongoing increase in negative sentiment around charities in the media since the middle of May.
Meanwhile its brand health index dropped by almost three points from 81.5 in late May to 78.4 in mid-July, although it has rallied a bit since.
Charities’ “consideration score” – measuring whether the group would think about donating – has declined by three percentage points, with the drop beginning in late May.
Gunstone added: “When charities are seen to fall short or to take a misstep, the media is now seemingly much more willing to probe into their activities. Among the most engaged audiences negative stories have clearly made some people less likely to consider giving.”

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