Australia’s Royal Flying Doctor service has again confirmed its place as the country’s most reputable charity, ranking first in the 2015 Charity Reputation Index for the fifth year running.
Released this week and developed by research consultants AMR, part of STW, the annual index also shows that Guide Dogs also maintained its strong reputation, coming in second place for the second year running. Other charities to fare well include the Fred Hollows Foundation which climbed two places to rank third overall this year, and Medecins Sans Frontières Australia (Doctors Without Borders), which ranked fifth overall in the first year it has been included.
Beyond Blue has also seen a steady improvement of its overall reputation; in 2012 it ranked 17th overall, and has strengthened its reputation each year since. This year, it ranks fourth overall.
The Charity Reputation Index surveys Australians to measure the overall reputation of the country’s 40 largest charities and ranks them accordingly using a scoring system. The measurement also includes a range of dimensions such as Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Cost Management.
AMR’s Managing Director Oliver Freedman said: “The results continue to show the immense trust Australians have for the charity sector as a whole across a breadth of causes. The top 5 charities now include those focused on the mental and physical well-being of individuals within Australia as well as across the globe.”
Freedman said the Royal Flying Doctor Service also ranked highly across the individual dimensions measured (Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Cost Management), coming first in all categories except leadership, where the Fred Hollows Foundation took line honours.
“The RFDS has now ranked first for the fifth year running. The consistent level of trust, admiration and respect highlights the emotional connection felt by Australians. Their reputation continues to be built on a broad foundation with the Royal Flying Doctor Service ranking first on six of the seven underlying reputation dimensions,” said Freedman.
“What a terrific acknowledgement for our front line health and aviation staff. But the Flying Doctor is only as good as the clinical care given to the next patient seen by any of our health, dental, or mental health professionals,” Mr Laverty, RFDS CEO said in response to the RFDS being ranked Australia’s most reputable charity.
Several other leading charities improved their rankings this year; Starlight Children’s Foundation rose four places to rank 8th overall and Save the Children up 12 places to rank 24th overall. The Salvation Army increased from 27th to 17th but remains below its 2013 rank (10th).
WWF has broken into the Top 20, rising from 23rd last year to rank 18th overall this year. It is the first time an environmentally-focussed charity has ranked in the Top 20 since tracking started in 2012.
By contrast, Oxfam showed the biggest decline amongst all charities measured; it fell 13 places to rank 30th overall this year and The Surf Life Saving Foundation dropped six places to fall outside the top 10 and rank 13th overall.
Boystown and Greenpeace Australia Pacific were again seen as the charities with the weakest overall reputations, ranking 39th and 40th respectively – for the third year running.
“While Greenpeace remains ranked 40th out of 40, another of the environmentally related charities WWF is showing an improvement. For the first time, we have an environmentally based Charity in the Top 20 and WWF has seen perceptions of its leadership and vision as well as its services and transparency improve significantly over the past four years,” said Freedman.
2015 Charity Reputation Index – overall results
|Charity Name||2014 RANK||2015 RANK|
|Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia||1||1|
|The Fred Hollows Foundation||5||3|
|Beyond Blue Ltd||9||4|
|Medecins Sans Frontières Australia (Doctors Without Borders)||–||5|
|St John Ambulance||3||6|
|Starlight Childrens Foundation||12||8|
|National Breast Cancer Foundation||4||10|
|Cancer Council Australia||10||11|
|Australian Red Cross Society||11||12|
|Surf Life Saving Foundation||7||13|
|National Heart Foundation of Australia||20||15|
|The Salvation Army||27||17|
|World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)||23||18|
|St Vincent de Paul Society||18||19|
|The Smith Family||24||20|
|Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)||21||22|
|Save the Children Australia||36||24|
|Australian Conservation Foundation||31||25|
|Cerebral Palsy Alliance (Formerly The Spastic Centre of New South Wales)||19||26|
|Multiple Sclerosis Ltd||25||27|
|Vision Australia Ltd||22||29|
|The Wilderness Society||35||32|
|World Vision Australia||30||34|
|Amnesty International Australia||32||37|
|Greenpeace Australia Pacific||40||40|
 N=4,441 Australians aged 18-64. Data was collected in between 6.11.15 and 25.11.15.