Thirty-six percent of respondents to a national survey said “everyday people” are best positioned to address societal challenges, according to the Independent Sector’s June Trust in Civil Society report. Twenty percent thought government was best positioned to do so; 12% thought nonprofits were; 12% thought private foundations and high net worth individual philanthropy were; and five percent thought businesses (including corporate philanthropy) were.
Independent Sector worked with Edelman Intelligence on the research, for which 3,000 American adults were surveyed online for 15 minutes. Edelman publishes the annual global Trust Barometer, which covers a wide range of subject areas. Independent Sector would like to continue doing its separate survey on nonprofits and philanthropy in particular on an annual basis, as well.
There is and likely will continue to be much discussion, perhaps even including among policymakers, about the state of philanthropy and the behavior of philanthropists. As those conversations go on, grantmakers looking for friends to back them and their activities up might have to look harder, or do something or some things different.
They’ll need a level of trust closer to that accorded—and more trust from—“everyday people,” in whom they could perhaps place more trust, too, for that matter.