Are business doing all they can for charity?Posted: May 21, 2013
Last week an article in Civil Society made note of a somewhat disappointing report from the Directory for Social Change which revealed that whilst company profits have been rising, for some their giving has actually reduced.
According to the article:
“An annual study of 550 companies with CSR programmes by the Directory for Social Change uncovered a substantial increase in year-on-year pre-tax profits of 55 per cent to £245.8bn, however charitable giving fell over the same period from those same companies.
Total cash giving by these 550 companies amounted to £470m, down 9 per cent on the previous year, while the total value of community contributions plummeted by more than a quarter (27 per cent) to £600m. The study, released today, tracks the essentially the same 550 companies each year, and the current report relates to the most recent company accounts available – ranging from 2010/11 to 2011/12”.
Both cash and non-financial contributions have fallen which, according to the author of the report, challenges the often-made assertion that some companies have been putting a greater emphasis on non-cash contributions to charity, like skills volunteering.
Nevertheless, Denise Lillya does argue the case for cash donations ahead of more partnership programmes and the likes, offering some optimism:
“For many charities, cash will be the best tool for the job, and for many companies cash will be the most available and appropriate resource to meet what they see as their social obligations. Cash and in-kind giving from companies remain a crucial part of the funding environment for charities,” she said. “Far from being on the way out, it has huge potential for growth.”
Back Britain’s Charities urges companies to maintain or increase their charitable giving at this time of need for the sector. As when calling upon individuals and the Government for support, the campaign asks business to stand by the voluntary sector in whatever ways they are able.
We would like those in the commercial sector to remain committed to their giving programmes and CSR initiatives, and those who pledge their commitment will be free to place the Back Britain’s Charities logo on their website – to show that they take this commitment seriously.
Of course, we must continue to appreciate that many businesses have been rocked by the economic climate in the same way that charities have, and might be struggling to pay their own staff and keep their own heads above the water. But for those who continue to make profits, we would ask that they replicate, continue and/or increase the volume of the fantastic contribution they have been making to the charity sector over recent years.