Donations from the FTSE 100 fell in 2016, to £1.9billion, according to Charities Aid Foundation.
CAF’s Corporate Giving by the FTSE 100 Report reveals that total donations by the FTSE 100 have fallen year on year by 11% (£235m) since 2014. The largest decline was over the course of 2015 to 2016, which saw total donations by FTSE 100 companies fall by £141m. This decrease is seen across six of the ten industries represented in the FTSE 100.
It was also the lowest year for donations since 2009, the year CAF started looking at the data, but was also the second lowest year for companies’ pre-tax profits according to the report.
Only 26 of the companies in the FTSE 100 donated 1% or above of their pre-tax profits, and this has also fallen. However, the amount of pre-tax profit donated by the FTSE 100 rose 2.6% in 2016, as a result of a small number of companies giving more.
Despite the overall decrease in the amount donated, median donation value rose £5m. A small number of companies give the majority of donations: the top ten (based on charitable donations) account for 68% of total giving for 2016.
While 61% of FTSE 100 companies belong to the Consumer Services, Industrials or Financial industries, these companies account for just 27% of all donations. Healthcare leads the way, donating £607m in 2016, equating to a third of all charitable donations given by the FTSE 100 that reported their donations, and 10% of the healthcare sector’s pre-tax profit. Overall, healthcare has dominated charitable giving since 2009, donating a combined sum of £6,727m over the last seven years.
The report also looks at the public’s views on FTSE 100 giving. It shows that 43% are unaware which sectors give the most, putting consumer goods and consumer services at the top when in reality they give 18% between them. This, the report says, reflects the ongoing transparency issue and raises another issue: that of how best to communicate with stakeholders and the general public.
Among its recommendations in the report, CAF suggests that the Government should look into reinstating mandatory reporting on companies’ charitable contributions to provide a benchmark that would encourages companies to be transparent and accountable. It also recommends greater transparency about corporate giving to better engage the public, and raises the question of how, with donations falling, FTSE 100 companies could encourage each other to increase or maintain their commitments.
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