Wise Giving Wednesday: 2021 Give.org Donor Trust Report

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calendar icon Nov 17, 2021


This week BBB Wise Giving Alliance released the 2021 Give.org Donor Trust Report: Profiles in Charity Trust and Giving. The report marks the fourth year we tracked donor trust and giving attitudes through an annual online survey of more than 2,100 adults in the United States and more than 1,000 adults in Canada. This fourth survey took place in December 2020.

For charities and donors, 2020 was a historically rocky year. With ongoing uncertainties about the effects of the pandemic on the donating public, we were curious to learn about any significant changes in public trust for charities overall or specific charity types. Fortunately, the Donor Trust Survey shows that the portion of the U.S. population that highly trusts charities in general, as well as for most charity categories, was relatively unchanged. The two exceptions were civil rights and community action organizations and environmental organizations, each experiencing a 3-point increase in “high trust.”

These shifts were likely affected, at least in part, by broader social outlooks associated with the pandemic. For instance, 2020 saw increased attention to the link between environmental causes and human health, the environmental effects of the economic slowdown tied to the COVID-19, and news about extreme weather events. Similarly, since we started tracking trust for different charity categories in 2017, we observed that the portion of survey participants expressing high trust for civil rights and community action organization was decreasing each year. This trend seems to have reverted during 2020, likely due to the broader social justice tension that culminated with the racial awareness movement that year.

A quick snapshot of the most significant changes in trust by charity type (in 2020 and over the past 4 years) is here.

In Canada, environmental and civil rights organizations did not experience a similar shift in public trust. The only charity category in Canada experiencing a 3-point increase in “high trust” between December 2019 and December 2020 was animal welfare.  

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring an interview with Haroon Shaikh, President of SUIT North America (a BBB Accredited Charity) that seeks to provide medicines and equipment to non-profit hospitals and institutions dealing with kidney diseases, dialysis and end stage renal diseases. SIUT North America reports that its major focus is on helping SIUT Pakistan secure necessary funds for medicines, treatments and equipment. The organization reports that all SIUT patients are treated free of charge and without discrimination. In addition SIUT reports that it helps other organizations in the U.S. through voluntary services and donations.

Heart of Giving Podcast

IIn this week's Heart of Giving Podcast, the guest is Marc Morial, the former Mayor of New Orleans and the current President of the National Urban League (a BBB Accredited Charity). Marc talks about his long and illustrious career as an American political and civil leader and explains what motivates him.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit Give.org or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to give.org/charity-inquiry if you are interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President & CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance 

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