NEW YORK, June 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Our nation has a long and rich tradition of people coming together to form organizations that solve problems and support people, causes, and communities. Non-profits are a foundational and critical support structure in our complex, modern society.
The 2012 Harris Poll Non-Profit EquiTrend (EQ) study measures the brand health of 87 non-profit brands across seven important categories, including Youth Interest, Animal Welfare, Health, Social Service, Disability, International Aid, and Environmental. Harris Poll EquiTrend provides the insight our communities, corporate sponsors, and non-profit organizations require to make informed decisions about donations and overall support.
Girl Scouts Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Brand of the Year Accolade
It is a big year for Girl Scouts of the USA as it celebrates its 100th anniversary and the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Youth Interest Non-Profit Brand of the Year accolade.
Just behind the American Red Cross as the second most familiar non-profit organization overall, Girl Scouts of the USA has seen a steady improvement in its brand equity score since first appearing in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study in 2009. A strong Emotional Connection score, which is a necessary element for every non-profit, is one of the main reasons this girl-centric organization has risen to the top.
"The organization has a lot to be proud of in this celebratory year, and this recognition is one more affirmation from the American public that the Girl Scouts are a valued member of our society," says Dana Markow, Vice President of Youth & Education Research at Harris Interactive.
Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Junior Achievement are the other youth-focused non-profits that rank above the category average.
Best Friends Animal Society is Animal Welfare Brand of the Year
Best Friends Animal Society is the top-ranked animal welfare non-profit in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study for the second year in a row. Not only is this a consecutive accolade for Best Friends Animal Society, but the Utah-based sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals also earns the highest score among all non-profits in the 2012 study—reflecting many Americans' commitment to and respect for animals.
Although not as well-known as The Humane Society of the United States—which is the second-ranked non-profit in this category—consumers feel strongly about Best Friends; this powerful sentiment earns the organization top scores for Quality and Donation Intention and helps it outpace other organizations which compete for America's donation dollars in the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend study. American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which is credited as being the United States' first humane organization, scores slightly behind The Humane Society, and completes the list of animal welfare non-profits ranking above the category average.
Stand Up To Cancer Stands Proud
Among the seven distinct non-profit industry groups, the health category is the largest and has the highest category average, an indication that these brands generally score better than other non-profit groups measured. These health-centric organizations make up one of the most competitive non-profit categories, and their causes carry weight among the general public.
Stand Up To Cancer, which is a charitable program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, was first measured in the Harris Poll EquiTrend study in 2011. One year later, it enjoys one of the strongest Donation Intention scores, and has become the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Health Non-Profit Brand of the Year.
Notably, of the fourteen brands that rank above category average, five specifically focus on eradicating cancer: Stand Up To Cancer, American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
Make-A-Wish Foundation, which secures second place, is the only wish-granting organization to post an above-average equity score, while Alzheimer's Association is the only mental health organization to rank above the category average. The other health non-profits that rank above the category average are: American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Lung Association, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and National Kidney Foundation.
The American Red Cross Is Recognized by Consumers
Through its good works and strong branding, volunteer-led humanitarian organization, American Red Cross, has earned the Harris Poll EquiTrend Non-Profit Social Service Brand of the Year accolade.
"Everyone knows American Red Cross and has great respect for the organization. It's the kind of organization you are thankful is working to provide so many needed and important services," says Michele Salomon, Senior Director of Public Affairs and Policy Research at Harris interactive. "Americans give the organization high marks for Familiarity, Quality, and Donation Intention."
Habitat for Humanity, the home building organization whose strong scores in brand equity over the last few years are driven by growing Familiarity and top-ranked Quality scores, lands only a fraction behind in second. Additionally, Salvation Army and Feeding America rank above the average in the social service category.
Goodwill among the Top Disability Non-Profits
Goodwill secures the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Disability Non-Profit Brand of the Year, with the highest Familiarity score within the disability category and highest score for Donation Intention overall.
Further down in the rankings with above-average equity scores are three autism-related non-profits, Autism Society, Autism Speaks, and National Autism Association. With the Center for Disease Control reporting that the prevalence of autism has risen to one in 88 births, it is not surprising to see multiple autism-related non-profits ranking above the category average. However, with such similar equity scores, it appears that general consumers do not see significant diversification in the organizations that seek to raise awareness about the disability.
Special Olympics, March of Dimes, and National Down Syndrome Society also rank above the category average.
Food for the Poor Named International Aid Brand of the Year
As a worldwide relief organization, Food for the Poor receives the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend International Aid Brand of the Year. Though scoring lower in Familiarity than other non-profits in this category, strong Quality and Donation Intention scores help propel Food for the Poor to the top-ranked spot.
Also performing well in this group is Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), with a runner-up score that was similarly driven by Quality and Donation Intention. Heifer International, which provides livestock to families around the globe, also finished above the category average among international aid organizations.
Wildlife Conservation Society Peaks as Top Environmental Non-Profit Brand
The Wildlife Conservation Society, which Americans recognize as an effective protector of wildlife and wild lands, has earned the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend Environmental Non-Profit Brand of the Year. Wildlife Conservation Society, however, has the lowest equity score among top-ranked brands in the seven non-profit categories, indicating that, in order to strengthen its viability as a cause, the organization needs to increase efforts to communicate its contributions to conservation efforts as well as the value of the natural world, with the environmental group as a whole having the lowest non-profit category average among the non-profit categories.
The other environmental non-profits scoring above category average are World Wildlife Fund, National Wildlife Federation, Nature Conservancy, National Audubon Society, and National Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
About Harris Poll EquiTrend
Harris Poll EquiTrend® is a leading Brand Equity tracking study conducted by Harris Interactive that measures and compares brand health for more than 1,500 brands. The study was conducted online from January 31 through February 20, 2012 and analyzes the responses of over 38,500 consumers on key measures of brand health - including how well the public knows a brand, how positively they think of the brand, and their consideration to do business with or donate to a brand. Each brand is rated 1,000 times among respondents who are familiar with the brand. Harris Interactive has conducted its EquiTrend study regularly since 1989, and can offer yearly trended data from 2005. The Equity Score, a key take-away from EquiTrend, has been validated against financial performance by Georgetown University.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The Harris Poll EquiTrend® study results disclosed in this release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Interactive.
Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
For a complete listing of all the brands covered in the study, contact Corporate Communications at 212-539-9600 or [email protected].
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 215 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients - stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
SOURCE Harris Interactive