Call the LionHeart Helpline

UK: 0800 009 2960 or +44 (0)121 289 3300

Request a callback


Trust in the charity sector

There's been a lot of noise in the media over the last year or so about charities, including high profile cases where charities have closed, people have been sacked and the organisations have been questioned by the government and Charity Commission. 

I read somewhere recently that the general public now place about the same amount of trust in a charity as they would a stranger, which is obviously very disappointing for the sector.

I wanted to explain to surveyors a little more about how LionHeart works and why they can have trust in us as THEIR charity. 

What is trust anyway? Well it's centred around something being reliable, meeting your expectations and not letting you down, about consistency and integrity. It's also about transparency.

I'm going to share four things that will hopefully increase your understanding of and trust in LionHeart:
  • A statistic I'm very proud of
  • How we get our money and how we spend it (or more accurately how we don't!)
  • Our governance and how we are run
  • How we develop our service
The statistic
This is the figure I'm proud to share with you, because it highlights how the people who use our service value it.  
Whenever someone we've been helping leaves our service we send them a survey to ask for feedback, which may be filled in anonymously. Among the questions they are asked to rate their overall experience of LionHeart's service, where 100 is excellent and 1 is very poor. The average score at the moment that people are giving to us is 97.  
I am so proud of the LionHeart team who work very hard to ensure that the service we provide really does help the people who call us, who are often facing very difficult circumstances. The support team go over and above to make sure any help that can be offered is offered.  We respond quickly and our services are bespoke - we don't have a one size fits all approach so everyone is treated as an individual.

A few charities have lost trust due to their fundraising practices; in particular, 'over asking' for donations and the practice known as chugging.
LionHeart's main source of annual income is the donation you kindly make with your RICS subscription fee - usually around £20. 
We don't have any government grants.
We don't receive any corporate funding.
And we don't have any restricted funding from trusts or foundations.
What this means is that all the money we receive from our donors can be spent on our charitable aims.
I'm often asked how much of our money is spent on our charitable cause and how much on what people term overheads and fundraising. One thing to say first of all is that as a business we obviously do have overheads and we do also carry out fundraising communications.
The best way for me to simply illustrate our expenditure in terms of our charitable cause is to describe the staff structure and the percentages spent in each area.  
We are a team of 18:
- 8 work in our support services team - the people answering our helpline and delivering our counselling service.  This represents 45% of our staff and is our biggest team. 
- 4 work in training and development, providing our free workshops and developing our work around mental health and work with firms - about 17% of our team.
- 2 people work on communications: 10% of our team.
- We have a further 4 people who could be considered to be 'overheads'; this includes me, an administrator and two finance people.
We do not have any paid fundraisers.

Sometimes people think we are part of the RICS or are governed by them. However we are completely separate. We are an independent charity, a company limited by guarantee and registered with Companies House.  
The RICS do not play a part in our governance although they are supportive of us.
We are governed by a board of volunteer trustees who are not paid. They are all RICS professionals.
We are registered with the Charity Commission and Fundraising Regulator and abide by their codes of practice.
We are independently audited every year and publish accounts on our website.

How we develop our services
We're fortunate that we don't have to dance to the tune of a particular funder like many charities, however we don't just develop services on a whim. 
We take feedback from everyone that receives a service from us; from the people who receive our grants, counselling, or help getting back into work, or receive legal or debt advice through us. We also ask for feedback from those who attend event such as our workshops.  
We regularly survey RICS members to ask what they feel are important issues and what they would like to see their charity provide. 
For the last few years, RICS members have told us that work life balance is a key issue, and that stress, anxiety and depression is increasing. In response we've increased the size of our counselling team and made it more accessible by offering it online, and have also developed workshops specifically in response to these issues.

Hopefully this will illustrate how we're listening to feedback and develop our services to make sure they're as relevant as possible, the way we fundraise and spend money is reasonable, and that we have integrity in our governance. If you're an RICS professional we'd really encourage you to follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter so you can continue to understand more about what your charity stands for. 

Davina Goodchild is CEO of LionHeart and has spent her whole career in the charity sector.

Latest Posts

5th - How youth counselling helped us
22nd - Living with an invisible illness
9th - What makes a good trustee?
1st - Things you must do as a final year surveying student!
4th - Dyslexia in surveying
28th - Reflecting on 12 years at LionHeart
13th - New beginnings and how to embrace them
5th - Losing a sibling to suicide
5th - Celebrating one year alcohol-free
25th - Caring for someone with MS
20th - How to set boundaries at work
17th - 'Calling LionHeart was like being thrown a life jacket'
6th - Spotlight on winter fundraising
3rd - Facing cancer
14th - Identifying and dealing with workplace bullying
13th - Why make a will?
12th - Living with OCD
3rd - Autism and my road of discovery
22nd - Frequently asked questions about LionHeart
25th - 25 years of LionHeart
11th - 'Stress caused me permanent disability'
18th - Diversifying our board, and why
18th - Coaching to unlock a new future
12th - How to help your lonely teen
9th - Asking for help - as the helper
28th - Why talking about dying is so important
7th - 9 simple ways to cut stress
23rd - Living & succeeding with ADHD
16th - 'I came to see how much of my life was run on adrenaline'
10th - "My daughter didn't want to be here any more"
4th - My life-changing cancer diagnosis
13th - Reassessing how you drink
4th - Looking to the future
19th - How alcohol almost cost me everything
18th - Children's grief and how to help
16th - Alcohol, anxiety and how secrets keep you sick
4th - "I had no idea stress could cause a real physical pain"
22nd - 5 ways to get your teen talking
18th - The Positives of Menopause
13th - Baby loss and depression
12th - The pandemic's impact on children's mental health (and what we can do about it)
8th - Don't judge a book - a story of depression and change
5th - LionHeart Back to Work support
29th - Post APC submission
16th - How families feel youth mental health
24th - 6 top tips if you've been referred
20th - Coaching for change
12th - "I'd hit absolute bottom - but it was the catalyst to seek help”
22nd - Spring into action by fundraising for LionHeart
4th - Reflecting on university mental health
15th - My experiences of counselling
20th - Worry Time - and how it helps
18th - My furlough & redundancy journey
13th - Volunteering and LionHeart
30th - A road to change
2nd - Trusteeship through lockdown and uncertainty
12th - The importance of legacies
10th - Overwhelm - and overcoming it
8th - Lockdown and my mental health
28th - Creativity at Work
20th - Video
24th - 'If I can do it, so can you'
22nd - How to ace your APC interview online
8th - Help! I've been referred... what now?
3rd - Your coronavirus concerns, and how we're helping
12th - How coronavirus might be affecting your mental health
12th - Managing health anxiety through Covid-19 - and how we helped Mike
31st - Rising to the coronavirus challenge
24th - Keep connecting - in a different way
13th - Demonstrating our impact
4th - The Big C and grabbing life
4th - "Cancer wasn't meant to happen to us"
30th - My journey as a charity trustee
7th - Top 10 tips for CVs and interviews
9th - Grief and loss at Christmas
7th - Charity trusteeship
6th - How counselling can help manage stress
9th - Living with anxiety and depression
10th - How coaching can help
16th - Changing attitudes to mental health
15th - The vicious circle of body image & mental health
14th - Social Anxiety & how we can help
11th - Life with Parkinson's
29th - What is Bipolar?
29th - The one about the Bipolar surveyor...
12th - Memory tips from the training front line
22nd - Losing a parent
7th - LionHeart's support was a game-changer when I failed APC
16th - When the reality of motherhood doesn't quite go to plan
10th - The story behind surveying's Sisterhood Summit
2nd - The rollercoaster of being a first-time dad
22nd - My father's suicide and what I've learnt
14th - Tips for your RICS APC final assessment interview
7th - Trust in the charity sector
21st - Is it really okay to not be okay?
17th - Building resilience through your APC
8th - 7 ways to get more active this year
4th - Coping with loss and grief at Christmas
5th - "I was told I might not be cut out to be a surveyor"
26th - Resilience, and why we need it
21st - APC Revision Top Ten Tips
12th - LionHeart on new fundraising code of practice
19th - Living with 'invisible' illness
14th - How LionHeart helped us live life
13th - Men's Health Week 2017
22nd - Living with panic attacks
18th - Why we must care about work life balance
11th - The chicken-and-egg of mental health and shame
2nd - What I learnt from Dry January
31st - "My 19-year journey to MRICS is what made me"
5th - Ways to be kind to yourself in 2017
7th - Suicide prevention
1st - Coping with APC stress
13th - "I constantly watch my husband for suicidal signs"
26th - Dealing with referral at APC Final Assessment
19th - How mindfulness can help your relationships
18th - "I live, and thrive, with depression"
17th - Men and mental health
16th - Mental health and your relationship
26th - Starting out in surveying
11th - A happy retirement
1st - My Dry(ish) January
21st - Spring clean your finances
6th - When to consider couples counselling
4th - Having a (financially) healthier Christmas
18th - How to help a loved one with an addiction
15th - Reflections on the Lionheart Surveyors' Football League season
12th - Carers
10th - How LionHeart can support carers
9th - Desktop Relaxation techniques
29th - Techniques to help combat anxiety
20th - Helping a family member with depression
18th - Achievements that make a difference
16th - Five things that may indicate your colleague needs help
11th - Helping during a panic attack