New IoF research looks at how the public perceive fundraising

New IoF research looks at how the public perceive fundraising

24 September 2019

Today the IoF published “What does the public think of fundraising”, an infographic exploring how the public view the fundraising profession.

A two-part public poll conducted by YouGov was published today by the IoF. The research looks at how the fundraising profession is seen and understood by the public, particularly at whether age, race, religion, disability, or gender make a difference to how fundraising is perceived.

The research was commissioned by the IoF and supported by TPP Recruitment and HR Directors Network.

Key findings from include:

Importance of the role

  • 78% of the general public think that raising funds for charity is an important thing, with young people more likely to agree that it is important
  • 83% of the public had not recently heard, read or seen something about the fundraising profession

Diversity in fundraising

  • 53% of people thought that fundraisers come from diverse backgrounds, however black respondents were more likely to disagree.
  • Nearly 1 in 2 men think that fundraising “is not for people like me”.

Aspects of a fundraisers role

  • 88% thought that being able to create rapport and build relationships, as well as engaging and influencing, were the most important aspects of the role.
  • Women were more likely to agree that connecting with donors from diverse backgrounds is important to the job.

Chartered status

  • Over one third would view fundraising more positively if it had a chartered body


Alex Xavier, Director of Professional Development at the IoF, said

We want to encourage the broadest range of people, from across the UK, to think of fundraising as a career choice. The public are absolutely right in that fundraising is a profession where people can make a difference to society, but we need to think more about how we can demonstrate and showcase the career and skills development opportunities that fundraising can offer.

There is a real opportunity with our planned journey to Chartered status in making fundraising a more attractive career prospect and we hope to work with schools, universities, and career development services to promote fundraising as a career. With a third of the public saying that they’d feel more positive about the fundraising profession if they knew that it had a Chartered body this provides us with a big chance to kick start the recruitment of the next generation of fundraisers.

Commenting on the findings, Rob Hayter, Director at TPP Recruitment, said

We are delighted to support the IoF in this research. Building a fundraising team is challenging; making it high-performing and then retaining its members is an often unachievable goal. We hope that the findings will help to educate and improve recruitment strategies and build a more successful and robust fundraising industry.

Download the public perception infographics.


For further information please contact or on 020 7840 5493.

Notes to editors:

About the research: The YouGov survey was undertaken from 29 April to 8 May 2019. The total sample was 2,623 adults. Figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults.

The full data tables are available for download here and the YouGov report on the findings is available here.

About the IoF: The Institute of Fundraising (IoF) is the professional membership body for UK fundraising. We support fundraisers through leadership and representation; best practice and compliance; education and networking; and we champion and promote fundraising as a career choice. We have around 6,000 individual members and over 600 organisational members who raise more than £9 billion in income for good causes every year.