The total amount given to charity by FTSE 100 companies in the United Kingdom fell to £2.1bn, the lowest levels in five years, according to a new report by the Charities Aid Foundation.
The report, entitled Corporate Giving by the FTSE 100 published earlier this week by CAF shows that the largest companies in the UK donated on average just 1.9 per cent of pre-tax profits to charity in 2014.
The £2.1bn figure donated to charity in 2014 was £420m lower than the previous year and is the lowest of any year since 2009, when FTSE 100 companies donated just £1.9bn.
Despite the fall in the total amount donated by the 100 firms, the report shows that the median donation rose in 2014, as it has done year on year since 2009.
Key findings in the report
- The median donation by a FTSE 100 company in 2014 was £3.8m. 87 companies reported making a donation last year.
- On average, in 2014 companies donated 1.9 per cent of pre-tax profits and 0.25 per cent of revenue. Growing numbers of companies are donating at least 1 per cent of pre-tax profits, with 27 having done so in 2014, up from 22 in 2012. Forty donated less than 0.5 per cent and 13 donated less than a tenth of a per cent.
- The 10 biggest donors accounted for 71 per cent of all donations by the FTSE 100 in 2014. This compares with 73 per cent the previous year.
- Health care companies make up only five of the FTSE 100, but accounted for 40 per cent of FTSE 100 donations over the six years examined. By contrast, the industrial sector has 15 companies in the FTSE 100 but accounts for only 1 per cent of donations.
- Year-on-year, 40 companies decreased their donations by a combined total of £450m. Six firms account for more than three-quarters of this fall. 42 companies increased donations, but by a much smaller amount (combined total of £43m).
- The £2.1bn given by the FTSE 100 to charities in 2014 amounts to about 3 per cent of the gross income of the voluntary sector that year.
“The contribution of businesses to the voluntary sector and communities in the UK and abroad is not to be undervalued. However, awareness of such giving is low among the British public, who on average only think 36 per cent of FTSE 100 companies donate to charitable causes in a typical year.
“This lack of awareness should be of concern to businesses, particularly given that knowledge of a company’s charitable activity can impact behaviour positively.
“Given the size and influence these businesses have over the sector, it is concerning that, without knowledge of their contributions, they may no longer be able to set an example for the rest of the business sector in the UK.”
A link to the full report can be found here.