April 29, 2008
How Americans View Charities: A Report on Charitable Confidence, 2008
The Brookings Institution has published How Americans View Charities: A Report on Charitable Confidence, 2008, by Paul C. Light. From the Executive Summary:
[P]ublic confidence in charities remains at contemporary lows. ... The percentage of Americans who said they had “a lot” of confidence in charitable organizations dropped from 25% in July 2001 to 18% in May 2002. The percentage that reported having “none at all” rose from 8% in 2001 to 17% in 2002.
A March 2008 survey ... shows four patterns that should worry charitable organizations and sector leaders:
- Charitable confidence has not risen significantly since it hit bottom in 2003.
- Americans remain skeptical of charitable performance.
- The considerable drop in the ratings of helping people poses a serious challenge to the sector’s distinctiveness as a destination for giving and volunteering.
- Estimates of charitable waste remain disturbingly high.
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