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“Values questioned like never before”: Scandals turning people away from working in charity sector

A UK study has revealed that one in three people do not want to work in the sector and one in five have considered leaving their jobs

New research has revealed that more than a third of people said the recent charity scandals have deterred them from working in the charity sector.

In a UK survey of over 1,000 adults by research company Populus, and on behalf of the culture and communications firm Kin&Co, it found one in four people have been put off working in the sector due to a lack of investment in culture and clarity.

Becci Gould, Senior Account Director at Kin&Co, said in Third Sector UK: “The lack of investment in culture in the charity sector is concerning. Once the leader of meaningful work, the sector’s got a long way to go to rescue its reputation and compete with purpose-driven businesses.”

In the wake of charity scandals, the sector is under scrutiny. Research showed that trust is at an all time low, and people are being turned away from charity work.

“In the wake of a number of charity scandals, the charity sector is increasingly under the microscope. Behaviours, values, ethics and culture are being investigated, questioned and challenged like never before,” the report read.

Over 60 per cent reported wanting to find meaning in their work but only 29 per cent said that the culture within a charity appeals to them. Nearly half reported they heard negative reviews about working within the charity space.

Research into 100 top charities indicated that the sector is falling short in providing employees with a good culture and a strong sense of purpose.

“Where mission and purpose were previously seen as enough to attract talent and encourage ethical behaviours in the sector, the incidents of individual behaviours damaging reputations are forcing organisations to hone in on their culture, their values and how they hold people to account,” the report read.

With purpose and impact decreasing in the sector, nearly one in five workers have left or considered leaving a job at a charity because they believed they were not making enough of a difference in the oversaturated environment.

“Where people previously chose the third sector for meaningful work, now they’re spoilt for choice,” the report read.

“Where previously people donated to charity, now they’re investing in crowdfunding projects. Just being a charity isn’t enough. Almost one in five people have left or have considered leaving a charity because they weren’t making enough of an impact.”


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