Donors Pick St Jude’s, Komen As Most Respected

March 4, 2010       Kate Rogers      

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. and Susan G. Komen for the Cure in Dallas, Texas, are the two most trusted nonprofit organizations in America, according to results of the new Harris Interactive’s EquiTrend annual brand equity poll.

The survey report also showed that Americans would be more likely to donate to charity in the coming year.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure and St. Jude’s also ranked numbers one and two respectively, in the brand equity category. The study measures more than 1,000 brands across 42 different categories, including 59 nonprofit brands.

Rounding out the top 10 in trust were: the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio; New York City-based Doctors Without Borders; The Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.; Make-A-Wish Foundation, Phoenix, Ariz.; Americus, Ga.-based Habitat for Humanity International; Heifer Project International, Little Rock, Ark.; and, the Salvation Army in Alexandria, Va.

In the brand equity category top ten were: the American Red Cross, Washington, D.C.; the Cleveland Clinic; Atlanta, Ga.-based American Cancer Society; Salvation Army; Mayo Clinic; The Smithsonian; Make-A-Wish Foundation; and Goodwill Industries, Rockville, Md.

Making the top 10 list for nonprofits to which people are most likely to donate to were: Susan G. Komen for the Cure; American Cancer Society; St. Jude; Goodwill Industries; Salvation Army; Cleveland Clinic; Heifer Project International; Make-A-Wish; Mayo Clinic; and American Red Cross.

The nonprofits included clients that Harris Interactive works with, as well as their competition, and charities selected from public nonprofit lists by industry experts, according to Justin Greeves, senior vice president of Public Affairs at Harris Interactive. Hot issues of the year are also considered, Greeves said, so that emerging nonprofits and organizations of all sizes might be included in the survey.

“We don’t want this to be a popularity contest,” he said. “We want the rankings to be thoughtful. Its about who creates the strongest connection, delivers on their mission, and in the public eye, is the best among the nonprofits in the U.S.”

The survey was conducted online among 19,708 U.S. consumers ages 15 and older between Jan. 12 and 21. Respondents were asked to rate a total of 60 randomly selected brands, and each brand received close to 1,000 ratings. The data were weighted to be representative of the entire U.S. population ages 15 and older based on age, sex, education, race, ethnicity, region and income.

Greeves said if a respondent is familiar with a certain nonprofit the person is asked to rank, the respondent might be asked more questions about that specific organization. If not, their familiarity score is included in that charity’s overall score, and the respondent will not be asked further questions.

“The trust that the general public places in nonprofits is paramount to their success as enduring and powerful brands. Those that deliver well on their promises and missions stand the test of time,” he said. “In the context of this brand evaluation, trust should be viewed as both a concrete organizational trait and a point of emotional connection with supporters and those in need of help and assistance.”