DSC 'truly horrified' by levels of corporate giving

24 Jun 2013 News

Debra Allcock Tyler has declared herself “truly horrified” at the paucity of corporate giving in the UK as research conducted by the Directory of Social Change shows average rates of giving at 0.4 per cent of pre-tax profit among the top givers.

Deborah Allcock Tyler

Debra Allcock Tyler has declared herself “truly horrified” at the paucity of corporate giving in the UK as research conducted by the Directory of Social Change shows average rates of giving at 0.4 per cent of pre-tax profit among the top givers.

In a fiery speech at the launch of the first Company Giving Almanac at the House of Lords on Friday, the DSC chief executive called for a step-change in leadership on corporate philanthropy. “The vast majority of our companies in the UK have a great deal to be ashamed about,” said Allcock Tyler (pictured).

The Almanac found that the total value of corporate philanthropy to charities was worth between £700m and £800m. A study of the top 418 corporate givers, compiled in the Almanac, found that the average contribution was worth 0.4 per cent of pre-tax profits overall, with cash donations 0.3 per cent of pre-tax profits.

The total value of support provided by the corporates analysed by DSC was worth £603m last year.

Comparing the Almanac figures to 2012’s Guide to Company Giving, the DSC estimates that this represents a 27 per cent year-on-year decline.

Commenting on the findings, Allcock Tyler said: "I surely can’t be the only person who feels truly horrified by the evidence in this report of the paucity of company giving in Britain.

“Many say to me that attacking companies for their bad giving is counter-productive – that the way to get companies to give is to convince them of the business case for their giving. Well, all I can say to that is that message has been the one we’ve been working to in this country for over 30 years – and company giving has not increased or improved – it has got worse.”

The report identified some good practice among corporate givers, and in particular highlighted the financial sector as generous. The DSC estimates it accounts for a total of £319m (cash and in-kind) giving, the largest proportion of any one sector.

But speaking more broadly on the state of corporate giving, which makes up just 2 per cent of total charitable income, Allcock Tyler issued a call to arms.

“Today we say: It is not OK that so few companies give, that they give so little and they give so badly. It is not OK that companies report giving by their staff and customers as if it was their own – or wildly exaggerate their own contributions. It is not OK for companies to act as if they are somehow separate from our society and that different rules apply to them.”

To this effect, Allcock Tyler echoed the sentiments of her colleague Denise Lillya who, writing in Fundraising last month, criticised companies for low levels of giving, and for including things such as “employing people” in their CSR report.

Allcock Tyler continued: ”The great British public is fed up. It’s fed up of the lack of moral leadership that has been exhibited and exposed by our political leaders, our media leaders and our business leaders. It’s time for a change. We need companies to give more, we need more companies to give, and we need them to be better givers."

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