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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Charities failing to provide vital info online

This news post is over 8 years old

Survey finds charities are not making it easy for public to access financial information online

Finding information on a charity’s expenditure can take more than three times as long as making a donation or getting details of their services, a new report has found.

However the survey, by research consultancy nfpSynergy, found success and impact stories were relatively easy to find.

The report is the result of searching 50 different charity websites for 15 pieces of information the public might want, including admin costs, trustee expenses, how to make a donation and the salary of the chief executive.

It shows that more controversial information like admin costs, trustee expenses and CEO salaries usually took more than three minutes to track down and were described as being “in a PDF and difficult to find”.

Transparency has been very much in vogue, but this report shows the claims aren't really matching up to reality

Finding out how to make a donation almost always took less than 30 seconds, as did locating nearby services, the survey found.

The same can be said of the charity’s success stories, such as the type of impact their work had and case studies of their beneficiaries.

The websites consulted were much more geared towards displaying the positive or neutral elements of a charity’s work.

NfpSynergy’s co-founder Joe Saxton said: “Since the media storm surrounding CEO salaries, the word transparency has been very much in vogue, but this report shows that the claims aren’t really matching up to reality.

“It would be a brave charity that stuck its neck out as the first to shout about this information, but surely it’s time for the sector as a whole to try.

“People don’t really understand how charities work and this is a missed opportunity to innovate and help them become better informed.”



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