Share

Corporate social responsibility is 'tokenistic' says Big Society report

Lord Chris Rennard, Credit - Alex Folkes Fishnik Photography
News

Corporate social responsibility is 'tokenistic' says Big Society report1

Finance | Niki May Young | 17 May 2011

The Commission on Big Society has emphasised the importance of the business sector in implementing the agenda's aims, but claims that the current corporate social responsibility (CSR) model is "more about marketing than making a difference", in its report released yesterday.

Calling for a strengthening of responsibility towards social good in the business sector, the report stated:

"We see enormous potential for businesses to empower people and support them to take responsibility for the world around them, and we see some examples of excellent practice. But we also see too much ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ (CSR) which is tokenistic, more about marketing than making a difference."

The statement is flanked by a call to the government, Business in the Community, the Confederation of British Industry and the Institute of Directors to work together to create a "sea-change" in business leadership, asking for "more Jamie Olivers" to shift the focus of CSR to a central aim, rather than an "afterthought".

According to research conducted by the Commission, which surveyed 2,500 adults across the UK, 64 per cent of people believe companies have a duty to give something back to their communities. 

The Commission believes that the government needs to facilitate businesses' ability to do so:

"We also recommend that brokerage between business and voluntary organisations be scaled-up, and that government incentivise employers to encourage and facilitate employee engagement with charitable giving," the report adds.

Specifically, an amendment to the Employment Rights Act 1996, extending employees rights to take time off to volunteer for public duties, is suggested as an opportunity to shepherd improved collaboration between the two sectors.

Voluntary sector response

NCVO chief executive Stuart Etherington praised the report's "strong recommendations on the importance of getting business on board in building the Big Society", while the Institute of Fundraising added that partnerships between the business and voluntary sectors should be "long-term and strategic" to gain maximum benefit.

The Commission was launched in December by Acevo and comprises members of the voluntary and political spheres, chaired by Lord Rennard. Its report calls on government to "fill in the blanks" in its Big Society agenda, a move it sees as integral to improving giving. 

Payroll giving is currently used as the primary vehicle to enable employees to give to good causes, but only 3 per cent of employees do so, the report highlights. The Commission calls for the government to facilitate an increased take-up of this fundraising method, and awaits the results of the Philanthropy Review on methods to do so. 

 

 

 

 

Andy Doel
17 May 2011

Pure irony that someone from the "Big Society" committee can accuse anything else of being tokenistic.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Free eNews

#GivingTuesday signs up 400 partners with just over a month until the big day

31 Oct 2014

Some 400 UK-based charity and commercial partners have now signed up to #GivingTuesday – a global campaign...

Over £6m raised in first day of DEC's Ebola Crisis Appeal

31 Oct 2014

More than £6m has been raised by the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Ebola Crisis Appeal since...

Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy announces six PhD projects to research giving

31 Oct 2014

The ‘rituals’ of fundraising events and creating the optimal forms of engagement for digital giving...

Homelessness charity breaks ties with founder's estate agency after complaint to Commission

31 Oct 2014

Trustees for homelessness charity House the Homeless have stopped referring clients to the founder's estate...

St Mungo's staff plan new ten-day strike

30 Oct 2014

Staff at St Mungo’s are planning to strike again for ten days from next Wednesday in further protest...

Acevo announces Lord Low is chairing a commission on sector regulation

30 Oct 2014

The chief executives body Acevo has set up a commission on sector regulation that will assess whether...

BeatBullying's technology CIC has not filed accounts with Companies House

22 Oct 2014

A software community interest company set up by the BeatBullying Group in 2012 is almost a year late filing...

Blackbaud launches online giving platform for individual fundraisers

17 Oct 2014

Blackbaud has launched its online giving platform, everydayhero, for fundraisers in the UK in a bid to...

Don't dismiss social media 'slacktivists', fundraisers told at IFC

16 Oct 2014

Charities should embrace and love charity ‘slacktivists’ because social is a great ramp for new donors,...

Join the discussion

 Twitter button

@CSFinance