Charity Reputation Index: Flying Doctors most reputable charity for third year running

Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor Service has again been named the country’s most reputable not-for-profit organisation, ranking highest in the 2013 AMR Charity Reputation Index.

It is the third year running that the organisation has ranked first in the annual Index, which surveys Australians to measure the reputation of the country’s top 40 charities on a range of dimensions including Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Cost Management, and ranks them accordingly.

Coming in a close second in this year’s Index was the McGrath Foundation, which rose eight places from 2012 to come second in 2013.  The charity was also viewed as having the strongest Leadership and demonstrating the most outstanding Citizenship among the individual charity attributes measured.

Other charities to fare well this year include the Guide Dogs (4th), National Breast Cancer Foundation (5th), Fred Hollows Foundation (6th), Starlight Children’s Foundation (7th), Beyond Blue (8th), the RSPCA (9th) and The Salvation Army (10th).

Oliver Freedman, managing director of AMR, the STW-owned research agency that compiles the Index, said all charities in the top 10, but in particular the Royal Flying Doctors, had built a strong reputations across a broad base.

“The research demonstrates that for a charity to have a strong reputation, it is not enough simply to be supporting a good cause.

“These organisations also need to be innovative, strong community leaders, demonstrate appropriate cost management, be transparent in their governance and provide a good workplace for employees. The Royal Flying Doctors came up well in all these dimensions, and their overall reputation ranking reflects this community view.”

Freedman also said improvement shown by the McGrath Foundation could not only be attributed to its leadership and citizenship, but also because it showed great improvement in how Australians view the service they provide.

“The Foundation communicates clearly about what it is raising money for, and where it will go,” he said. “This has contributed to its overall reputation in the eyes of Australians because they understand what the charity stands for and can see the work it is undertaking out in the community.”

Freedman said the 2013 Index also showed that environmentally-linked charities generally have lower scores than other sectors, particularly those seen as activists. Greenpeace ranked last in this year’s Index, coming in 40th.  WWF ranked highest among the ‘green’ charities this year, ranking 25th overall.

He said there were also generally lower scores for  global charities such as CARE (37th), Oxfam (34th), Amnesty (3th), World Vision (29th) and UNICEF (25th).

“According to our measurement, however, the top 22 charities measured all score well above the highest Corporate Reputation rankings, which shows that Australians still view the not-for-profit sector as a trusted community voice,” Freedman said.

Full list of the 2013 Charity Reputation Index

AMR charity reputation index 2013

About the Charity Reputation Index: The Charity Reputation Index is produced each year by research consultants AMR, which also produces the annual Corporate Reputation Index, Country Reputation Index and City Reputation Index. The Charity Reputation Index collates insight directly from consumers, and does not rely on any information provided by the organisations being studied.

The list of the Top 40 Australian charities studied in the Charity Reputation Index is compiled by AMR, based on revenue reported in the Givewell database. Organisations are excluded if they are not national, or only have a regional presence.

Adults aged 18-64 are surveyed as part of the Charity Reputation Index in Australia, with results weighted to ensure they represent appropriate gender and age groups.  For the 2013 index, N=3730. Data was collected in October 2013.