Royal Flying Doctors Service Tops Country’s Most Reputable Charity

Royal Flying Doctors Service Tops Country’s Most Reputable Charity

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[1] 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 Name2014 RANK2015 RANK
Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia11
Guide Dogs22
The Fred Hollows Foundation53
Beyond Blue Ltd94
Medecins Sans Frontières Australia (Doctors Without Borders)5
St John Ambulance36
Camp Quality67
Starlight Childrens Foundation128
McGrath Foundation89
National Breast Cancer Foundation410
Cancer Council Australia1011
Australian Red Cross Society1112
Surf Life Saving Foundation713
Diabetes Australia1614
National Heart Foundation of Australia2015
The Salvation Army2717
World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)2318
St Vincent de Paul Society1819
The Smith Family2420
Wesley Mission2821
Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)2122
Barnardos Australia2923
Save the Children Australia3624
Australian Conservation Foundation3125
Cerebral Palsy Alliance (Formerly The Spastic Centre of New South Wales)1926
Multiple Sclerosis Ltd2527
ChildFund Australia3828
Vision Australia Ltd2229
Oxfam Australia1730
UNICEF Australia2631
The Wilderness Society3532
Plan Australia33
World Vision Australia3034
CARE Australia3435
Compassion Australia3336
Amnesty International Australia3237
Mission Australia3738
Greenpeace Australia Pacific4040


[1] N=4,441 Australians aged 18-64. Data was collected in between 6.11.15 and 25.11.15.

Credits to the Royal Flying Doctor Service

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