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Confusion Over Paid Charity Workers Remains – Poll


Thursday, 20th March 2014 at 10:23 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist
The public is happy to see charity shop managers draw a salary, but confusion remains over who is paid in charities, new UK research reveals.

Thursday, 20th March 2014
at 10:23 am
Staff Reporter, Journalist


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Confusion Over Paid Charity Workers Remains – Poll
Thursday, 20th March 2014 at 10:23 am

The public is happy to see charity shop managers draw a salary, but confusion remains over who is paid in charities, new UK research reveals.

A poll, carried out by UK research consultancy nfpSynergy, also found that a third of people are against charities paying their CEOs and directors as the public remain divided on who should draw a salary.

“People are more in favour of paying charity shop managers than any other role in charities,” the poll found.

The study, conducted with a nationally representative sample of 1000 people, revealed that three in four people (74 per cent) thought charity shop managers were paid and 63 per cent felt they should be.

Four in five (81 per cent) knew that charity chief executives were paid, but a third (31 per cent) thought they should be working for free.

Three in four (75 per cent) also correctly identified directors as paid positions, but 37 per cent thought they should not be.

Although a majority correctly identified support/admin staff as drawing a salary, there was confusion over other roles. A president (62 per cent) and patrons (16 per cent) were mistakenly identified as paid, while more than a third thought street fundraisers were unpaid.

People were divided on who else should be taking home a salary. Nearly half (45 per cent) felt that street fundraisers should work for free, while charity shop helpers (45 per cent ) and tin collectors (56 per cent) should not be drawing a salary either.

The results also show that paying trustees is not a popular move with everyone. A third (32 per cent) thought they were paid, but only 16 per cent thought they should be and more than half (51 per cent) were against it.

“These levels of support are especially low when compared to a third of people (33 per cent) who want to see salaried charity shop helpers, while even volunteers would be supported by 17 per cent  if they claimed a wage,” nfpSynergy’s Rob White said.

“In the year since we last did this research, too little has changed. There will always be public reluctance to spending donations on salaries, but charities are clearly still not explaining who is paid, who works for free and why their staff are value for money.

“When will charities learn that they must explain to donors why they need to spend their money on salaries?

“It is also interesting to note that nearly two thirds of people mistakenly think a President is paid. Our advice is, if you have a President, get rid of their title and call them something else, or many donors will think they draw a wage,” White said.

Poll result snapshot:

  • 74 per cent of people thought that charity shop managers were paid. 63 per cent thought they should be, more than any other position asked about.
  • 31 per cent of people thought CEOs shouldn’t be paid and 37 per cent felt the same about directors.
  • People were quite well informed about who was paid towards the top of charities, with 81 per cent saying they thought chief executives were paid and 75 per cent saying the same about directors.
  • 67 per cent were right in thinking support/administration staff were paid, but less than half (48 per cent) identified street fundraisers as paid.
  • 62 per cent mistakenly thought Presidents were paid and 16 per cent thought the same about patrons.
  • As always, trustees caused some confusion. A third thought they are paid, but only 16 per cent of people thought they should be, with more than half (51 per cent) against it.
  • More than a third (45 per cent) thought street fundraisers should not be paid, but volunteers (17 per cent) and patrons (14 per cent) should be paid according to some people. 


Staff Reporter  |  Journalist |  @ProBonoNews


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