Less Trust in Charities with Political or Religious Agenda - Report
4 June 2007 at 12:43 pm
A report by Reader’s Digest into the most trusted people in 2007 says Australians are less likely to trust charities with a political, ideological or religious agenda.
The Reader’s Digest’s third national Most Trusted poll gauges who in Australian public life are more trusted.
It sampled 750 Australian adults to rate from one to ten how much they trust a list of well-known people, professions, brands and – and for the first time this year – charities. The results are published in its June edition.
The Readers Digest says the one common thread present in each of the top five most-trusted Australians, is that they’re all doing something positive – either through medicine or some pro-social activity.
For the third year running, former Australian of the Year and burns specialist Dr Fiona Wood topped the list, followed by cancer vaccine creator Professor Ian Frazer, then children’s band the Wiggles, businessman and Clean Up Australia founder Ian Kiernan, and TV vet Dr Harry Cooper.
According to social researcher Dr Rebecca Huntley, author of the Ipsos Mackay Report, a leading study of Australian social trends, this connection with community over and above the role they get paid for is what makes or breaks a public figure.
Australian’s ranked the Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service as the most trusted charity, followed by St John Ambulance Service, Guide Dogs Australia, Care Flight and Camp Quality.
Huntley says the results send a clear message that Australians are less likely to trust charities with a political, ideological or religious agenda.
She says of the Reader’s Digest report that people wonder where their money is going and with the five most trusted charities all providing services of a health nature, the objectives are easily understood.
But, she says, when charities become aligned with political, ideological or religious agendas, people can feel confused and forced to take sides and that leads to cynicism.
She says environmental group Greenpeace is a perfect case in point – it ranked at the bottom of the list of 50 charities. Organisations such as World Vision and Care Australia were also well down in the list.
To view the list of 50 charities in the Reader’s Digest report go to: www.readersdigest.com.au/content/40014
The Reader’s Digest circulation in Australia is 360,301 making it the second-largest-selling monthly magazine in the country.