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2016’s most reputable charities

Which charities made the list?

The reputation of Australia’s leading charities have recovered after two years of losing ground. Trust toward the sector by Australians is at the highest levels ever recorded since 2011, according to the 2016 Charity Reputation Index by research consultants, AMR.

Released this week, the annual index shows that more than half of Australia’s 40 largest, most recognisable charities saw a significant increase in reputation scores. The overall charity index average increased 3.9 points, crossing the threshold from ‘strong’ in 2015 to ‘excellent’ this year, with the top 20 showing reputation scores better than the best ranked corporates in Australia.

For the sixth year in a row top honours went to Royal Flying Doctors Service with a score of 96.9 out of possible 100 points.

“No matter where you are in country Australia, if you’re injured or ill, you can trust the Flying Doctor to help. The 1,300 staff of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and the thousands of volunteers who support our work with donations, will be pleased to see the AMR Charity Reputation survey demonstrate this enduring trust. Ultimately, our reputation is only as good as the care we provide to the next country Australian who calls for Flying Doctor help,” Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia CEO Martin Laverty told Third Sector.

AMR’s Managing Director Oliver Freedman said the raw scores used to measure and rank charity reputation indicate that the sector has shown a marked improvement in trust and respect in the eyes of Australians compared to last year.

“The results this year are a clear indication that Australians still have an immense trust for the charity sector despite continued global economic uncertainty, driven recently by Brexit and the US election result,” he said.

“Charities such as Royal Flying Doctor Service continue to top the index as they have an authentic and sincere message and service, which resonates with Australians and helps the high level of trust felt towards them.”

Freedman said the Royal Flying Doctor Service ranked first across all the individual measurements of Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Cost Management. It is the first time a charity has ranked first across all these dimensions.

“The RFDS has now ranked first for the sixth year running. The consistent level of trust, admiration and respect highlights the ongoing emotional attachment felt by Australians and the fact the Service was ranked first across all reputation categories speaks volumes for the organisation’s solid foundation,” he said.

St John Ambulance Australia was voted the second most reputable charity in Australia.

“We are extremely delighted and honoured that the community has recognised the efforts and work of St John Ambulance Australia. These efforts are a direct result of the tireless work of our volunteers, and we thank each and every one for actively engaging with the Australian community and for all that they do,” said Australian Chief Executive Officer of St John Ambulance Australia, Robert Hunt.

“First aid saves lives and is an important part of the fabric of a resilient community. St John will continue to work toward our goal of making first aid a part of everybody’s life and help people in sickness, distress, suffering or danger.”

The increased focus on mental health has shown to be helping the charities that operate in this part of the sector, with Beyond Blue consistently in the top five, and new entrant Headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation sitting with the more traditional top tier charities.

See full list below.


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