Change in company reporting requirements a "backward step"

The Directory of Social Change, the national charity supporting the voluntary sector through campaigning, training and publications, has published its well-established and authoritative The Guide to UK Company Giving.  The new guide contains the details of 400 companies which made community contributions in the UK totalling £636 million, £369 million of which was in cash donations.

During the research for this the 10th edition of the guide, DSC’s researchers noted the high number of companies (41%) that, for the first time, had failed to declare charitable donations in their annual report and accounts. This is now a choice for companies following the reforms to the Companies Act 2006 brought in by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2013.

In DSC’s view, this ‘backward and regrettable step’ means that potentially the public and other stakeholders will have no accurate information of these companies’ true cash giving. Importantly, fundraisers will have limited knowledge of the cash resources available to them from this source and as a consequence will be unable to judge whether it’s prudent on their part to spend precious resources making an application for funding.

DSC’s Great Giving campaign has long advocated better funding relationships between charities and their funders. It wants to support and help develop good funding practice among those organisations which give to charities and other voluntary organisations and invites companies to maintain transparency despite the legal changes in line with their responsible business practices.

New to The Guide to UK Company Giving’ and of huge benefit to fundraisers is the inclusion of a chapter on corporate grantmaking charities which adds another valuable component to DSC’s examination of UK companies’ charitable giving. Channelling company profits/donations through company established charities is a traditional and straightforward way of giving and an important and worthwhile avenue for fundraisers to consider when searching for cash funding.

Because these corporate charities are compliant with Charities SORP, we can generally see clearly where income comes from and how it is spent; this shows where, at least in part, a company has made a charitable cash donation. As well as the traditional method of receiving donations directly from the yearly profits of the company, corporate charities can also receive income from other company sources, for example from staff/customer fundraising or perhaps dividends from a previously donated portfolio of company shares.

In this edition we have listed 114 corporate charities whose giving ranges from local communities in which the company operates, to UK wide and internationally. Each grantmaking corporate charity listing in the new guide details how much it has donated, to which organisations and the locations where giving has been focused.

For further information contact Denise Lillya, Senior Researcher on 0151 708 0136, or via email: [email protected]