The latest GivingLarge report shows just how generous corporates were last year.

GivingLarge Report Corporate GivingBushfires and pandemics provided very real reasons to give more in 2020 – but just how much more did Corporate Australia give last year? Comprehensive analysis from Strive Philanthropy, has revealed that corporate giving in 2020 saw a 17% increase compared to 2019 figures, equating to $1.1 billion.

The previous GivingLarge report released mid last year detailed the rise in corporate giving in response to COVID-19, despite many businesses also experiencing a tightening of purse strings. Unsurprisingly, most of corporate giving in 2020 (75%) went to areas within health, education, social and public welfare, and emergency.

Read up on the biggest COVID givers here.

Six months later and the tally has been updated to show that COVID-related donations from all companies analysed (30 companies disclosed a number) tallied to over $175 million. Contributions to the bushfires were $145 million (113 companies disclosed a number).

This increase in giving upped the percentage of pre-tax profit given by the top 50 companies to 1.11% for the year, up from 0.67% for 2019. This increase not only shows the corporate response to giving, but also a drop in profits as companies were affected by lockdowns, the recession and changes to consumer spending.

This latest report, now in its third year, provides insight into the current landscape of corporate philanthropy in Australia and ranks organisations by their percentage contributions of profit or earnings.

Coles topped the list of companies giving as a percentage of profit or earnings. At $125 million in corporate giving to food rescue, health and disaster relief in 2020, this equates to 7.3% of Coles’ profit on a rolling three-year basis.

Compare this to BHP, who topped the list of corporate givers by total contribution, but whose $221 million contribution last year equated to 1% of pre-tax profit target over a rolling three-year basis. While this percentage is a lot lower than the supermarket giants’ level of giving, BHP’s percentage significantly increased from 2019 due to a $50 million donation to their COVID-19 Vital Resources Fund.

Other corporates that made substantial increases to their giving last year included Newcrest which gave $55 million, an increase of 110% from 2019; Macquarie Group with an 82% increase at $35 million; and Medibank up 111% with $9.5 million.

The top corporate givers

Top 10 by % pre-tax profit (rolling 3yr) Top 10 by Total Contribution
1. Coles 1. BHP
2. Star Entertainment 2. Coles
3. Oil Search 3. Commonwealth Bank
4. Newcrest 4. CSL
5. South32 5. Newcrest
6. CSL 6. Westpac Group
7. Woolworths 7. Rio Tinto
8. Stockland 8. South32
9. IAG 9. Macquarie Group

Top givers by sector and % contribution

Sector Top 10 by Total Contribution
Finance IAG
Materials Newcrest
Telecommunications Telstra
Industrial Brambles
Consumer Coles
Health care CSL
Real estate Stockland
Energy Oil Search
Utilities Spark Infrastructure
10. NIB 10. ANZ Banking Group

According to Strive Philanthropy Founder and report author, Jarrod Miles, these big shifts don’t paint the full picture of corporate giving.

“The statistics here miss some other micro-giving with many companies also foregoing revenue on fees, products and services for community benefit. These are not included in the overall numbers but represent an additional meaningful contribution from business.”

While the results of the report are promising, Jarrod believes there’s still more that needs to be done to embed the learnings and actions of 2020 into the conscience of big businesses.

“The spike in giving in 2020 is warmly welcomed but won’t be enough. Sustainable philanthropy is about a change in thinking, not just the rise in dollar donations. The good news of 2020 is that this change of thinking seems to be hardening and we can only hope it will propel corporate philanthropy nicely into the decade,” says Jarrod.

Here at F&P Magazine, we’ve been tracking the move some corporates are making to engrain giving and philanthropy in their DNA.

There’s much discussion around whether corporate giving programs are good for a companies’ bottom line by boosting reputation and acting as a marketing ploy. But research released at the end of last year from and Di Marzio Research shows that the rise of the conscious consumer means that businesses need to live and breathe their corporate social responsibility strategy in all parts of their business.

Inside the GivingLarge report

If you’re interested in getting a copy of this year’s report, you will need to pay for it – a small fee that recognises the work that goes into collating and analysing the data. But for those in the sector interested in seeing how corporate giving – and potentially some of your own corporate partners – has changed over the past few years and could develop, this report is a handy resource. Despite the positive increase in corporate giving last year in response to the disasters, this was not the trend across all sectors and companies.

But, and here’s the good news, for a limited time only, charities and nonprofits can purchase the full report at a significantly reduced price (over 40% off!).

Strive Philanthropy also partnered with the Australian Financial Review and JB Were’s John McLeod to produce a review of Australia’s Top Corporate Givers. Using a different method, allowing for the inclusion of several privately owned organisations operating in Australia, this list produced different results to the original list – both are published within the paid report.

For this year, they expanded their research to include a review of over 150 corporates including a full analysis of the ASX100. Of the total $1.1 billion, over 68% came from the top 10 companies, and 81% came from three sectors. These results are reflective of trends across the last few years showing that there’s a small number of companies contributing the most. That means there’s huge potential for companies across a broad range of industries.

It also details the contribution of companies by sector, the cause areas they give to and how their giving has changed since the previous year.

The 2020 Report provides a 50 page in depth analysis of corporate philanthropy in Australia during 2020. Insights include:

  • Total contribution by company, sector and Top 50.
  • Percentage of pre-tax profit and earnings by company, sector and Top 50
  • Primary cause areas by company, sector and Top 50
  • Assurance, standardisation and itemisation of giving by company, sector and Top 50
  • Emerging trends over time for companies, sectors and Top 50
  • Biggest percentage movers in 2020 and stand out contributions
  • COVID-19 analysis for Australia’s top companies
  • Bushfire analysis for Australia’s top companies
  • Extensive discussion and conclusions on corporate giving in Australia.

Access your discounted report here.

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