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Company giving in UK still 'disappointing'

Company giving in UK still 'disappointing'

The new edition of “The Guide to UK Company Giving” shows that cash donations and community contributions from businesses in the UK have changed little in the past ten years, remaining disappointingly low.

Looking at cash donations and total community contributions over a ten year period (1990/01 ­to 2000/01) for the top 400 companies, cash donations and total community contributions have more than doubled in monetary terms. However, when expressed as a percentage of pre-tax profits they have remained pretty much constant.

In 1990/01 cash donations amounted to £133 million (0.25% of pre-tax profits) with total community contributions amounting to £225 million (0.42% of pre-tax profits).

In 2000/01 cash donations were £286 million (0.24% of pre-tax profits). Total community contributions were £499 million (0.42% of pre-tax profits).

[Smyth - UK Company Giving - cover]Researcher at the Directory of Social Change and author of the guide, John Smyth said: “The Directory of Social Change, amongst others, has consistently encouraged corporate support of voluntary sector and community groups. It is sad to see, therefore, that over a ten-year period the top 400 companies on average have failed to reach even the accepted minimum standard of donating 0.5% of pre-tax profits to charity. In fact, our research shows that giving in real terms has actually declined despite improved catch-all methods for calculating community contributions being available.

“It appears that whilst some companies have the capacity, skills and resources to make a real difference in their local communities, and do, others exhibit a distinct lack of will to follow suit. Until the majority walk the talk of corporate social responsibility, support for charity appears unlikely to improve to any significant degree in the near future.”

“The Guide to UK Company Giving”, now in its 4th edition contains valuable information for voluntary and community organisations seeking to raise money or win support from companies. You can order it from publishers the Directory of Social Change or online from Amazon.co.uk for £25.

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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