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Community Investment Down - Benchmarking Report


23 November 2012 at 11:15 am
Staff Reporter
While Corporate Community partnerships are on the rise in Australia, overall corporate investment in the community is down, according to the latest London Benchmarking Group (LBG) report.


Staff Reporter | 23 November 2012 at 11:15 am


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Community Investment Down - Benchmarking Report
23 November 2012 at 11:15 am

While Corporate Community partnerships are on the rise in Australia, overall corporate investment in the community is down, according to the latest London Benchmarking Group (LBG) report.

The LBG is an international benchmarking model for assessing a company’s contribution to the community and measuring the outcome for their staff as well as the charitable organisations they support.

Overall, corporate investment in the Australian and New Zealand community was down across the LBG with members, contributing an average of $4.6million each – from a high of $295 million in 2011 to $204 million in 2012.

“While the overall contributions are down this is due mainly to a spike in giving in response to natural disasters in Australia and New Zealand in the previous year,” Simon Robinson the corporate community investment director for Haystac Positive Outcomes, the organisation responsible for LBG in Australia and New Zealand, said.

“Emergency Relief fell $42m in that time from 20% of corporate contributions down to just 2% in 2012,” Robinson said.

“This was not surprising given the assistance members provided for theses natural disasters occurring in our region in 2011.”

“For the third consecutive year, the investment rates against both profit and revenue have been trending downward. Investment per employee also fell this year in contrast to 2011, but was up by $32 compared to 2010,” the report said.

“Most of this contribution was picked up in support of Social Welfare, which also appears to be the area most likely to suffer when funding for Emergency Relief peaks, dropping by 8% in 2011, and 7% in 2009 during the time of the Victorian Bushfires,” it said.

The report however says that with an ever growing number of corporate community partnerships, community investment has risen 6% in 2012, now representing 53% of total contributions.

The report says employees played an important role in investment across the membership with almost 43,000 staff members contributing more than 700,000 hours of volunteering, up 70% from 2011.

Employees played an important role in investment across the membership with almost 43,000 staff members contributing more than 700,000 hours of volunteering, up 70% from 2011.

Employees also donated more than $7.7m to the community, making up 6.6% of leverage. A large portion of these staff funds were donated via payroll giving programs, which were offered by 59% of members, a 7% increase since 2011.

The report showed:

  • Employees volunteering in company time: 43,000 hours
  • Working hours contributed: 703,000 hours
  • Average number of hours donated per participating employee: 16
  • Value of time: $29.1m
  • Total contribution: $204 million

Workplace (payroll) giving

  • 59% of members offer payroll giving programs, with two thirds of these matching the donations
  • Average staff participation rate of 7%, with 14,069 staff donating
  • In total, employees donated $7.7m to the community in 2012
  • Total value of leverage (facilitated 3rd party contributions): $117m
  • Average funds leveraged per reporting member: $2.7m

(*based on the 40 members who reported)

Management costs are the highest seen since reporting began in 2006 while in-kind contributions have been trending down since 2009.

LBG says this can, in part, be attributed to the increasingly robust methods used by its members in capturing and reporting these overhead costs. The cash component remains the largest portion of overall investment.

How members contributed:

Cash: 60%
Time: 14%
In-kind: 12%
Management costs: 14%

What members support:

Education/Young people: 22%
Health: 22%
Economic Development: 8%
Environment: 7%
Arts/ Culture: 5%
Social Welfare: 19%
Emergency Relief: 2%
Other: 14%

Membership in the Australia New Zealand LBG group grew in the past year to include three new players, Grocon, Transurban and Energex, taking the cohort up to 50 companies.

LBG members had an average of four full time staff members dedicated to Community Investment activities, the report showed.

The report can be downloaded here



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