Companies Donate in the Dark - Report
27 August 2014 at 10:51 am
The UK’s biggest companies have almost doubled their donations to charity over the last five years, but most people are unaware of their work in this area, according to new research.
The research, commissioned by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), revealed the FTSE 100 gave £2.5bn (A$ 4.46bn) to good causes in 2012, a £1.2bn (A$2.14bn) rise since 2007.
However, consumers were largely unaware of the scope of corporate giving, with people indicating they believed 36 per cent of the FTSE 100 made donations to charity every year when the actual figure was 98 per cent.
“We now need all companies to be more transparent and vocal about the great work they’re already doing for charities across the country. Why not shout louder about the remarkable growth in corporate charitable giving in spite of difficult economic conditions,” John Low, Chief Executive of the Charities Aid Foundation said.
“This will begin to restore public trust in businesses after so many setbacks.”
The report also found that the public were misinformed about which businesses did the most for charity.
The research sample nominated Consumer Services and Consumer Goods as the most generous sectors, however, when ranked in terms of total donations, these industries were 5th and 6th on the list after Healthcare, Basic Materials, Financials and Telecommunications.
The report, Corporate Giving by the FTSE 100, also showed that younger people were more selective when it came to the companies they choose to do business with.
Nearly two-thirds (65 per cent) of 18 – 24 year olds were more likely to buy a product or service from a company that made donations to charity, compared to 51 per cent of the general public.
Some 45 per cent of people would be more inclined to work for a company that donates to charity, a figure which rose to 61 per cent among 18 – 24 year-olds.
“The way businesses work with charities and their local communities is becoming increasingly important, especially as younger generations are influenced more and more by the way in which they operate,” John Low said.
“I often hear stories that hopeful graduates look into the charitable work of a company directly after browsing the jobs pages – this is becoming an increasingly important factor when it comes to career choices.
“We’ve seen a growing number of brands putting their ethical aims and values at the heart of their businesses, and many have been hugely successful, particularly among a younger age group.”
The report also showed:
The average donation by the FTSE 100 has trebled since 2007
Donations to charity by the FTSE 100 are increasing at a faster pace than their pre-tax profits
73 per cent of people think companies should be more open and transparent about their corporate responsibility
61 per cent say corporate responsibility is just a PR exercise
69 per cent think that businesses have an obligation to support the local community in which they operate
44 per cent think that businesses have an obligation to donate to charitable causes.