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2018 most reputable charities revealed

2 min read

Despite ongoing corporate distrust and organisational disruption in the corporate sector, Australian charities are enjoying all-time high levels of reputation.

The annual Charity RepTrak® surveyed Australians to measure overall reputation of the country’s 40 largest charities. Results found that the Royal Flying Doctor Services has maintained its position as Australia’s most reputable charity.

CareFlight jumped one place from 2017 to rank second overall this year and Guide Dogs rose one place to rank third. St Johns Ambulance fell two places to fourth and Starlight Children’s Foundation improved by two places to rank fifth.

“The fact that our top four ranked charities this year are the same as 2017 reinforces the stability that these leading organisations have maintained,” RI Managing Director, Oliver Freedman, said.

“In particular, Royal Flying Doctor Service should be congratulated on its consistently high scores and leading position across all seven drivers of reputation.”

Other results found that the Ronald McDonald House Charities was the largest improved organisation, having jumped 12 places overall from 2017 to rank sixth. Other charities that saw significant improvement was the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the McGrath Foundation, which both rose by nine places from 2017.

In this year’s Annual Australian Charity Reputation Index (RepTrak®), conducted by the global Reputation Institute (RI), charities were found to have avoided the erosion of trust among corporations and “came out the other side as a stronger, more reputable sector”.

Freedman said the impact on the community, how service is delivered and responsible governance contributed to ongoing trust.

“As a result of the continued effort, Australians clearly view our charities as trustworthy, transparent, providing strong leadership and valuable services,” Freedman said. “Our corporations could learn a lot from the charitable sector, particularly as they manage ongoing reputation issues affecting our financial services industry.”

Freedman added that the top 31 charities in the Index have stronger reputations overall than the top ranked Australian corporations, Air New Zealand, Toyota and Qantas.

“While individual charities may move up and down in overall rankings, the sector itself continues to grow in reputational strength,” Freedman said. “The lowest ranked charity in Australia still has a stronger overall reputation score than most of Australia’s corporations.”


Top 40 charity rankings:

RANK CHARITY Change vs 2017
1st Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia
2nd CareFlight +1
3rd Guide Dogs +1
4th St John Ambulance -2
5th Starlight Children’s Foundation +2
6th Ronald McDonald House Charities +12
7th National Breast Cancer Foundation +9
8th McGrath Foundation +9
9th Médecins Sans Frontières Australia +6
10th Lifeline Australia +2
11th Beyond Blue Ltd -1
12th Camp Quality -7
13th Surf Life Saving Foundation -4
14th Diabetes Australia -3
15th The Fred Hollows Foundation -9
16th Make-A-Wish Australia NEW
17th Cancer Council Australia -4
18th Headspace +5
19th Leukaemia Foundation of Australia +1
20th CanTeen -12
21st The Movember Foundation
22nd RSPCA -8
23rd National Heart Foundation of Australia +1
24th Australian Red Cross Society -5
25th The Smith Family +3
26th Mission Australia +3
27th YMCA Australia NEW
28th CARE Australia +8
29th St Vincent de Paul Society -3
30th The Salvation Army -3
31st World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -9
32nd Vision Australia Ltd -2
33rd Wesley Mission -8
34th Amnesty International Australia +4
35th Oxfam Australia -1
36th UNICEF Australia -4
37th Yourtown -6
38th Save the Children Australia -5
39th World Vision Australia -4
40th Greenpeace Australia Pacific


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  1. chevorlette Pacquette August 8, 2020

    Can you kindly advise me which of the trusted charity/charities work with First Nation (aboriginals) in Australia?

    Thank you.

    C Pacquette (ms)

    1. mm
      Pearl Dy August 11, 2020

      Hi Chevorlette, Thanks for getting in touch. While we don’t have an article specific to charities working with First Nation yet, this does sound like a good idea for a future story. Meanwhile, you may check ACNC.

    2. Trish August 21, 2020

      Cathy Freeman Foundation is brilliant

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