Charities must be ‘easy to contact’

Wednesday 26th October 2011

One in ten people has contacted a charity for help, support or advice during the past 12 months, according to new research by Connect Assist.

But many people are deterred from seeking support and advice when charities offer limited access and respond slowly.

Connect Assist, a social enterprise contact centre that works exclusively within the charity sector, found that those most likely to contact charities are the 45-54 year old age group and those least likely to engage with charities were the 18-24 year old group (7%).

However, 58% say they would be discouraged from seeking advice if the charity was hard to contact, with this figure rising to 65% amongst the over 55 year olds, demonstrating the fragile relationship between the public and its charities.

Patrick Nash, chief executive of Connect Assist, said: “These findings are a fascinating insight into the way the British public seeks help and advice from charities. What they consider to be important, what would deter them from asking for support and how different age groups have varying priorities and habits.

“It is interesting to see that face-to-face meetings are not considered to be important, whereas quick and easy access via the phone or email is perceived as much more of a priority. However, at the heart of the findings is the fact that all groups regardless of age or geographic location want to receive expert robust advice from an empathetic source.”

The research, carried out in September by ICM, also found that having to wait a long time for a response or “being put on hold” was seen as a deterrent by 57% of those surveyed.

Half of those surveyed said they would think twice about contacting a charity if they had to give out a lot of personal information and a quarter of respondents would be put off by the thought of having a face-to-face meeting, with this figure rising to a third of the 18-24 year old group

Press Release can be found on the Media Trust website

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