News & Updates

Wise Giving Wednesday: Differences in Public Trust by Type of Charity

Nov 20, 2019

Last week, BBB Wise Giving Alliance released the 2019 edition of the Donor Trust Report which provides the results of an annual survey of 2,100 adults across the United States. This research explored donor beliefs, feelings and behavioral intentions related to charity trust and generosity. Among other things, our research results found that some categories of charities are trusted more than others.

Survey respondents were asked to rate their trust in charities on a 10 point scale with 10 being the highest and 1 the lowest score. They were provided a list of 13 types of charities and asked to score their trust in each. If they indicated a score of 9 or 10, that was considered high trust. According to the data collected about each of the 13 types of charities listed (see chart below) the percentage of respondents that gave a high trust score ranged from 15% for arts/culture organizations and environmental organizations to 28% for religious organizations.

Although religious organizations received the largest high trust score (28%) this category had a 4% drop when compared to the previous year’s results (32%). The largest decrease for the high trust score was received for the civil rights and community action organizations which went from 25% in the previous year to a high trust score of 15% for this latest survey.

In addition, this survey sought to identify public perceptions about their trust in charities. This does not mean that this represents the actual accountability of these organizations. The vast majority of soliciting charities are transparent and engaged in appropriate practices. For example, of the nationally-soliciting charities that disclose information to BBB Wise Giving Alliance, approximately 70% meet all 20 of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability and only 30% do not meet one or more of these standards.

Chart Below Displays High Trust by Type of Charity

Trust by Charity Type 2019

Video of the Week

As part of our Building Trust Video Series, we are pleased to provide a video featuring an interview with Jackie Melillo, Director of Grant Development, United Palestinian Appeal (a BBB Accredited Charity) which seeks to alleviate the suffering of Palestinians, particularly those in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and refugee camps throughout the Middle East, and to contribute to the long-term socioeconomic and cultural development of Palestinian society.

Recent Reports

We are always working with charities to publish or update reports for donors. Visit or local BBBs to check out any charity before giving. Our recently evaluated charities include:

Finally, remember to let us know by going to if you are  interested in seeing a report on a charity not on the list and we will do our best to produce one.

H. Art Taylor, President and CEO
BBB Wise Giving Alliance