BBB’s Study: “High trust” is up for 12 of 13 charity categories

By H. Art Taylor
President & CEO BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Nov 30, 2022

Arlington, VA (November 22, 2022) – According to new research from BBB’s, the portion of respondents that “highly trusts” different charity types increased for 12 out of 13 categories between December 2020 and December 2021. The exception was environmental organizations, which dropped moderately (0.4%) and had the least portion of respondents (16.0%) expressing high trust. (See page 14 of Donor Trust Report.)

The standards-based, charity-evaluation group today released the Donor Trust Report 2022: Five-Year Review of Trust and Giving Attitudes. The report, a survey of more than 2,100 adults in the United States (with a separate section for more than 1,000 adults in Canada) identifies significant shifts in trust for specific charity types and hones into how participants who report being open to charity solicitation differ from the broader sample.

“With growing concern about how eroding trust might harm publicly soliciting charities, our survey found reasons for hope,” said H. Art Taylor, president and CEO of BBB’s, “The survey found higher trust for most charity categories, and the highest openness to solicitation we have observed in five years.”

Report highlights include:

  • Among all respondents, 38.0% express being open to solicitation, with 17.0% saying they desire to be approached more by charities and 21.0% saying they might be willing to give more if approached. This is the highest openness to solicitation observed in the past five years, up 5.2 points between December 2017 and December 2021. (See page 34 of DTR – Donor Trust Report.)
  • Respondents who are open to solicitation are more likely to prefer donating to a charity serving the needs of their ethnic community. For example, among participants who would like charities to approach them more, 71.8% prefer donating to a charity serving the needs of their ethnic community. By comparison, among respondents who do not want to be approached by charities, 26.1% say the same. (See page 35 of DTR.)
  • When presented with scenarios that might deter participants from donating, 57.7% focus on a financial concern (including 32.8% saying they would be most discouraged when a high portion of every dollar is spent on fundraising and management; and 24.9% who would be most discouraged when they are not sure what the charity will do with their donation). (See page 25 of DTR.)
  • Younger generations are more likely to say they will not donate if they are not sure what the charity will do with the money (37.8% of Gen Zers, as compared to 15.2% of Matures), while older generations are more likely to be discouraged when a high portion of every dollar is spent on overhead (50.6% of matures, as compared to 26.0% of Gen Zers). (See page 25 of DTR.)

For a free copy of the report, go to

BBB’s urges donors to give thoughtfully by taking the time to investigate charities before making a donation and to visit to verify if a charity meets the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

Generational age ranges used in the Donor Trust Report: Generation Z (18-23), Millennial (24-39) Generation X (40-55) Boomers (56-74), Matures (75-92).

ABOUT BBB WISE GIVING ALLIANCE: BBB Wise Giving Alliance (BBB’s is a standards-based charity evaluator that seeks to verify the trustworthiness of nationally soliciting charities by completing rigorous evaluations based on 20 holistic standards that address charity governance, results reporting, finances, fundraising, appeal accuracy and other issues. National charity reports are produced by BBB’s and local charity reports are produced by local Better Business Bureaus – all reports are available at

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

MEDIA CONTACTS: For more information, journalists should contact Elvia Castro (703-247-9322 or

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