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Macmillan top for satisfying donors in Institute of Customer Service report

Macmillan top for satisfying donors in Institute of Customer Service report

The Institute of Customer Service’s first report into customer and donor satisfaction in the charity sector has put Macmillan in the top spot.

Macmillan took first place in the Institute of Customer Service‘s Making it Count: customer satisfaction in the charity sector report, which looks at  the experiences consumers have in their interactions with UK charities, and the attitudes, behaviours and skills that they need to demonstrate to attract and retain financial and voluntary support.

Based on 1,500 survey responses, Macmillan was voted as the highest performer for charitable organisations, closely followed by RNLI.  Both scored strongly for effective use of donations, reputation, caring about their customers and trust.

The top ten:

1.       Macmillan Cancer Support

2.       RNLI

3.       Salvation Army

4.       Cancer Research UK

5.       British Red Cross

6.       British Heart Foundation

7.       Shelter

8.       Oxfam

9.       NSPCC

10.   Save the Children

The report showed that most people interacted with a charity in person (62%) or via the organisation’s website (16%), with 11% interacting through social media or email (11%), and 7% by phone. Just over 40% of respondents said they support a particular cause because “it is important to me”, with 26% choosing to donate to organisations that are “doing the right thing”.  1 in 10 respondents however said that their interaction with a charity made them feel indifferent, pestered or guilty.

In the report, the Institute suggests that British charities should mirror the commercial sector’s approach to customer service, and that proactive communications about the way organisations use their money, and ensuring people don’t feel pressured into making donations, are two areas to focus on.

Jo Causon, Chief Executive of The Institute of Customer Service, said:

“UK charities generate over £45 billion each year, but these vast sums are not easy to come by, particularly as there is growing pressure to demonstrate how donations reach the heart of a charity’s cause.  The reality is that they are competing for customers’ attention, goodwill and spend, meaning that customers demand, and should expect, higher levels of transparency and service before committing their cash.”

“In an environment dominated by a reduction in real wages, charities will inevitably feel the pinch as Brits are impacted by shrinking levels of disposable income.  So, to ensure people extend their time for giving beyond Christmas, it is important for charities to deliver a consistent quality of customer experience across all their channels.  Doing so will increase the chances of long-term support.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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