£111 million of companies’ charitable donations goes missing

11 April 2017
Publication: The Guide to UK Company Giving 2017/18

£111 million of companies’ charitable donations goes missing

The 11th edition of The Guide to UK Company Giving presents information on over 400 companies which made community contributions in the UK, totalling over £420 million.

However, following reforms to the Companies Act in 2013, companies are no longer legally required to declare their charitable cash donations in their annual reports – and many major companies are choosing not to.

91 companies that used to report how much money they gave to charity, now do not. Between them they gave £111 million before the change in reporting rules.

Goldman Sachs (last reported figure: £22m), Vodafone (last reported figure: £21m) and Shell (last reported figure: £12m) top the list of companies that were giving the largest amounts, but now are reporting no cash giving at all.

Denise Lillya, Research Manager at DSC says:

“The most disappointing thing about this appalling drop in transparency is that these companies are some of the most philanthropic and engaged. They have a track record of donating large amounts of money to good causes, and it is now impossible to tell whether they are giving more, giving less, or giving nothing at all.”

“The declaration of a company’s cash donations is a tangible and unambiguous indicator of its commitment to the community. Knowing what individual companies are doing helps individual charities to find support, and also helps us to understand what’s happening to corporate giving in a wider sense.”

She goes on to say:

“Just because there is no legal obligation to report a figure, doesn’t mean they can’t. Most companies are choosing to continue reporting their cash donations, and we would strongly encourage them to keep doing so.”


For further information, please contact Justin Martin, Marketing Manager via email [email protected] or phone 020 7697 4149.

Notes to editors:

1.  The Guide to UK Company Giving is published by the Directory of Social Change (DSC), a national charity supporting tens of thousands of charities each year through campaigning, training and publications.  Learn more at dsc.org.uk

2.  DSC’s research is taken from one financial year whether covering 2014/15 or 2015. Of the 400+ companies that were analysed by DSC’s research team, 47% chose not to declare a cash donations figure.

3.  The combined corporate giving figure of £420 million is, at face value, a decrease of around £230 million from 2015.

4.  The top ten company givers (by total contribution) :

1Lloyds Banking Group£64,000,000
2ITV PLC£24,000,000
3Santander UK plc£22,000,000
4Eccelsiastical Insurance Group plc£20,400,000
5HSBC Holdings plc£18,650,000
6Marks and Spencer Group plc£15,500,000
7Goldman Sachs International£14,300,000
8Impetus – the Private Equity Foundation£11,600,000
9John Lewis Partnership plc£11,600,000
10Royal Mail plc£10,400,000

5.  The top five companies that used to report a cash donations figure but now don’t (by last reported figure):

1Vodafone Group plc£21,000,000
2Shell (UK Limited)£11,785,000
3Diageo plc£10,500,000
4BAE Systems plc£5,500,000
5Dyson Limited£5,000,000

6.  The Guide to UK Company Giving 2017/18 includes information on the top corporate givers in the UK, corporate charities (including details on grant-makers associated with a company) and details of around £321 million given in grants by companies in the UK.

7.  The Guide to UK Company Giving is now available for £95 at: https://www.dsc.org.uk/gcg