Public Resource
Replenishing trust: Civil society’s guide to reversing the trust deficit
Spitfire Strategies

Trust-building is actions aligned to values — it’s not just communicating about what matters, but doing it. Trust for institutions across society is declining. This growing trust deficit is a serious problem: It erodes a high-functioning pluralistic democracy, compromises public health and makes it impossible to solve collective problems like climate change. Trust doesn’t just happen. American civil society institutions have an important role to play in increasing trust — which is necessary to create the kind of world we all want to live in. With funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Spitfire conducted a review of social science and interviewed researchers and organizational leaders. The result is this report, which argues for promising practices for civil society leaders to try to increase trust.