Corporate Philanthropy remains strong despite global slowdown
1 February 2010 at 10:28 am
Australia’s major companies have continued to support and invest in communities despite the tough economic conditions faced in 2009, according to a report released by the Australian Government.
Minister for Community Services, Jenny Macklin and Parliamentary Secretary for Social Inclusion and the Voluntary Sector, Ursula Stephens, released the report, Impact of the Economic Downturn on Corporate Community Investment, at the Social Inclusion Conference in Melbourne where corporate representatives and academics discussed the role business can play in social inclusion.
The report found that despite the economic downturn, large companies are continuing their trend towards strategic long-term community investment, with the majority surveyed sustaining their multi-year commitments.
Sixty-eight per cent of respondents expected an increase in corporate volunteer support in 2009-10, while 52 per cent expected an increase in workplace giving and payroll deductions.
Minister Macklin said corporate community philanthropy is essential, as more individuals and families are now seeking help from charities in times of need.
Senator Stephens said that the conference panel discussion – Let’s do business: corporate social responsibility – emphasised the valuable perspectives, talents and resources that corporate Australia can bring to addressing the multifaceted problems of social exclusion.
She said the complex causes of deep disadvantage cannot be resolved by government alone or by the Not for Profit and corporate sectors working in isolation.
She said it is only by working in partnership with all three sectors and bringing its respective strengths to tackling the complexity of exclusion to be able to make a difference.
The Australian Government commissioned the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs to undertake this research, which included surveying 150 leading Australian listed companies and focus groups with public affairs and corporate affairs practitioners responsible for corporate community investment strategies.
It found that despite many companies experiencing significant pressure on budgets:
- 41 per cent of respondents indicated that their overall community investment budget had increased since the previous year
- 35 per cent reported no change
It also found:
- 69 per cent of companies kept their multi-year commitments
- 12 per cent reported their commitments had been reviewed downwards
- 12 per cent said their commitments had been postponed or abandoned
Impact of the Economic Downturn on Corporate Community Investment can be found at www.fahcsia.gov.au