Globally, there is a mounting belief that the public are losing trust in nonprofits. Highly publicised charity scandals are assumed to have damaged public confidence in charities. What can nonprofits do to protect themselves from the contagion of scandal, and how can they respond appropriately when bad press threatens the livelihoods of their organisations?

In this talk, Cassandra will present high-level evidence from 8 different research studies to answer three questions:

  • How do scandals emerge in nonprofits?
  • What are the impacts of scandals for individual charities and for the nonprofit sector as a whole?
  • What can fundraisers and nonprofit managers do to recover public trust after a scandal?

The talk will be informed by rigorous academic research (including data from Australian nonprofit board members and almost 400,000 people in over 30 countries) but will be presented in a casual, accessible way. The focus will be on practical takeaways for nonprofit professionals.

Keynote speaker:

Dr Cassandra Chapman is a Lecturer at The University of Queensland. Having come to academia with a background in nonprofit marketing, Cassandra’s research focuses on the psychology of charitable giving, trust in nonprofits, and public responses to charity scandals. She uses diverse methods to understand when and why donors are more (or less) willing to give to particular causes and the implications such preferences have for how charities communicate. More broadly, Cassandra is interested in the application of psychological knowledge to social issues.

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