Community Investment Strong as Corporates Give Back in 2010
11 November 2010 at 10:31 am
Corporate Australia and New Zealand dedicated more time to charitable causes and increased the proportion of cash donations they made to the community in the 2010 financial year, a new report shows.
The fifth annual London Benchmarking Group (LBG) report – the global standard for measuring and benchmarking corporate community investment – indicates that while Australia and New Zealand’s leading businesses remain dedicated to investing in the community, there has been a shift in the type of investment.
In 2010, the total value of contributions by LBG’s 47 reporting member companies fell by 16% to AU$254 million when compared with 2009 levels. However, 2009 saw an outpouring of support from the corporate sector driven by two major national disasters in Australia – the Victorian bushfires and Queensland floods.
The value of 2010 contributions remained extremely strong when compared with pre-global financial crisis community investment levels.
LBG’s findings indicate that corporates were more generous with donating cash in 2010, with the percentage of contributions made in cash increasing from 53% in 2009 to 58%. The level of time contributed to the community has also increased, up to 11% from 7% in 2009, indicating that an increasing number of companies support employees to volunteer their time for worthwhile causes.
The number of employees volunteering in paid company time was up 23% from 37,356 in 2009 to 45,683 this year.
LBG Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Jessica Pattison, says Australian and New Zealand businesses were increasingly conscious of tracking and evaluating their community investment.
Pattison says that in 2010, the proportion of contributions made as commercial initiatives almost doubled, from 12% in 2009 to 22% this year and this suggests that community investment decisions made by businesses are rarely any longer based solely on philanthropy or altruism.
She says shareholders and stakeholders increasingly require businesses to align their community investment with their business strategy, and to strive for outcomes which result in an optimal balance of returns for the community and the business.
As well she says organisations are also increasingly needing to track and value their community contributions so they can measure their return on investment.
LBG membership has grown by an average of 20% per annum and now has 51 member companies in Australia and New Zealand including ANZ, Origin Energy, Toyota, Woolworths, Mitchell Communication Group and Australia Post.
To download the report, see attachment.