Trust in NGOs has risen over the past year, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, with increases reported in 21 of 26 nations covered by the study.
While the overarching trend is that trust is on the rise, the Barometer reveals that four out of the six markets identified as distrusting NGOs – those where less than 50% of people agree that they trust these institutions – are in Europe, namely the UK, The Netherlands, Italy, and Germany. At the bottom of the scale, only 44% of Germans said they trusted NGOs, although this is a 7% increase on the previous year.
European countries with a neutral rating (between 50-59%) were Ireland, Spain, and France. Trust in NGOs fell in two European countries: Italy, by 2%, and Spain, which had the biggest year on year decline among all markets surveyed, with an 8% drop. France had the highest trust rating out of these markets, with 56% – a 4% year on year rise.
Overall, the Barometer shows a shift in trust, with more people now trusting their employers than any other type of institution. Globally, 75% of people trust their employer do what is right, significantly more than NGOs (57%), business (56%) and media (47%).
The results also show that overall, men trust NGOs slightly more than women, at 58% versus 55%, while the informed public (broadly speaking those with a college income and in the top 25% for household income) have higher trust levels than the general public at 69% against 56%. Trust levels among both the informed and general public rose slightly from levels recorded the previous year, up 4% and 2% respectively.
The percentage of people globally who would trust information given by an NGO representative to be credible also rose, by 2% to reach 48%.
Edelman surveyed 1,150 respondents per market for the Barometer, all aged 18+. 27 markets were surveyed between October and Nov 2018, with 33,000+ respondents in total.
Related feature: Special focus: 5 trends influencing giving in Europe