Opinion Poll: Over 60% of people more reluctant to give to charity after recent scandals

Almost two thirds of people are now more reluctant to give to charities after a spate of scandals in recent years.

The Irish Examiner ICMSA opinion poll found that 61% of respondents are now more circumspect about making donations, peaking in the 55 to 64 age group at 71%. In contrast, just 42% of those aged under 35 said they were reluctant to donate to charities.

Men were more likely than women to feel a newfound reluctance to donate, as were people with an off-farm income. Overall, just 21% of respondents disagreed with the idea they were more reluctant to donate.

Ivan Cooper, director of public policy with the Wheel, which represents the charity sector, said the results were “undoubtedly a concern”.

“We do believe that the public should demand the highest standards of charities and ask important questions of charities, but at the same time support the vital work they perform,” he said.

Just last week the Charity regulator, John Farrelly, warned that 47 section-39 charities, funded by the HSE, faced being downgraded because they had failed to r eport to his office.

Mr Cooper said registering with the regulator and submitting an annual report was one of the ways to “triple-lock” their trusted status, the others being to comply with the statement of Guiding Principles for Fundraising by Charities, and ensuring they adopt the governance code for charities.

He also asked the public to check the website of a preferred charity to see if annual reports and the names of directors and trustees were listed.

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