The independent sector releases its third annual Trust Survey,
Washington, May 19, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Independent Sector today released its third annual Civil Society Trust Survey, which found that while there is room for American institutions in all areas to increase public trust, a majority of respondents believe that nonprofit organizations will continue to do what is good for society.
The survey – conducted in February and in partnership with Edelman Data & Intelligence – found that 56% of Americans said they trust nonprofits, down a statistically significant 3 points from the benchmark study by 2020 (59%). Trust in philanthropy fell slightly from 36% to 34% (a drop of 2 points) over the same period, but this difference is not statistically significant.
Based on this year’s findings, the 2022 Trust of the independent sector in civil society The report offers steps and ideas for nonprofits and philanthropy to make greater strides to sustain and strengthen the country. These include leveraging trust in the social sector to strengthen American democracy, deepening engagement with communities and institutions, and meeting public expectations of government accountability.
“Building public trust in institutions and the social sector is a pressing issue for the United States. We all enjoy strong public trust,” said Daniel J. Cardinali, President and CEO of Independent Sector. “Trust is the invaluable currency for nonprofits, philanthropies, commercial charity programs, and all of us to build a healthy and equitable society. We see what happens when trust breaks. Our 2022 Trust of the independent sector in civil society report elevates important data and recommendations for conversations about how the social sector can engage more deeply and do better for everyone in our country to prosper.
This year’s Trust Survey provides data by income, gender, level of education, age groups, race and ethnicity, and political affiliation. It shows where gaps in public trust can be reduced. It also breaks down how the public perceives corporate philanthropy, private foundations and high net worth individuals.
Among the conclusions of the 2022 Trust of the independent sector in civil society survey:
- Financial well-being and education are key drivers of trust.
- Women’s trust in nonprofits has declined during the pandemic.
- Gen Z is skeptical of the nonprofit sector.
- Integrity and purpose remain essential to building and maintaining trust in nonprofits.
- Black Americans have higher than average trust in nonprofits and philanthropy.
For this third annual report, Edelman Data & Intelligence conducted a nationwide survey of 3,015 Americans ages 18 and older from February 7-28 of this year. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2%. The full report methodology is available here.
Independent Sector will host a free webinar – “Public trust and nonprofits: where do we stand?” How can we strengthen it? — Tuesday, May 24 from 2-3 p.m. ET to discuss this report in more detail. Cardinali and Ann Mei Chang, CEO of Candid and independent sector board member, will join the conversation. Webinar registration information is available here.
Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers, nonprofits, foundations, and corporations working to ensure prosperity for all in the United States. Learn more at independentsector.org.