Should charities keep the presidents club donations? What the public say…
Among the many issues arising from the revelations about the Presidents Club dinner last week, one for those charities who had received donations from the money raised was whether they should return the money.
Great Ormond Street and Evelina London Children’s hospital charities and the Royal Academy of Music were among the first to say they would be returning donations. Many others said they would not accept any future donations.
We wanted to know what the public thought. We commissioned YouGov to conduct a nationally representative survey.
The headline result is that one in five think charities should return the donations, with two-thirds saying they should keep the money. The remaining 13% are unsure.
There was not a statistically significant variation by gender, but we did see some difference in attitudes between age groups. Older people were more certain the money should be kept, with 76% of over-65s saying this, compared to 59% of 18-24 year olds and 61% of 25-49 year olds, who were more likely to say they didn’t know.
These age differences may reflect different attitudes to the ethical standards that institutions should act by. But this is a complex matter as there are ethics-led arguments for both keeping and returning the donations. The result may also reflect different attitudes to the issue behind the question, with younger people perhaps taking a firmer view on the seriousness of sexual harassment.