Public Support for Ethically Investing Charities
25 August 2008 at 1:49 pm
Charities that are not investing ethically risk losing the support of the public according to a new survey.
A majority (83%) of people would be less likely or unwilling to give to a charity if they found out it was not investing ethically, according to new research released by the EIRIS Foundation in the UK.
A poll of 2,000 UK adults found that 52% of the general public would be unwilling to give to charities that are investing in a way that is against their objectives, and a further 31% would be less likely to give.
Almost all (91%) of those surveyed agreed that charities should be investing their money in an ethically or socially responsible way.
The EIRIS Foundation says this highlights a mis-match between public expectations and the number of charities actually investing ethically – a 2006 study by ACCA found that just 55% of large UK charities had an ethical investment policy.
IT says the survey illustrates the growing public interest in the finances of charities, and the risks to both reputation and income that charities face by not investing in line with their mission.
Of those surveyed, 81% said that if they discovered a charity was not investing in this way it would negatively affect their view of the charity and 83% indicated that it would make them less likely or unwilling to give to the charity.
The survey also reveals that the public wish to know what charities do with their money. When asked how important it is to know where and how a charity invests its money, 41% of adults rated this as very important on a scale of 1 to 10 (where 10 equals very important).
Just 11% rated this as 4 or below.
Public support for ethical investment has increased significantly since a similar survey for the Charities Aid Foundation. In 2001 over 40% of the public said that they would prefer to support charities which invest ethically and a further 14% said that they were only prepared to support charities investing in this way.