Mining, finance and retail companies are leading the way when it comes to corporate partnerships in Australia, according to new research looking at the philanthropic giving of ASX-50 companies.

Mining, finance and retail companies are leading the way when it comes to corporate partnerships in Australia, according to new research looking at the philanthropic giving of ASX-50 companies. Andrew Sadauskas reports.

The mining sector leads corporate Australia in community donations.

Australia’s 50-largest ASX-listed companies donated a total of $867 million to community causes during 2017, with some companies and sectors significantly more generous than others, according to STRIVE Philanthropy’s inaugural GivingLarge report.

The initiative has received support from both Philanthropy Australia and the Centre for Social Impact, and aims to highlight the significant community contribution made by corporate Australia each year.

The study examined publicly-available corporate reports from 39 companies in the ASX-50 index, looking at the amount each company gave both as a total dollar figure and as a percentage of their overall profits or earnings during 2017.

Overall, the ASX-50 companies featured in the report donated a (mean) average of $22 million, representing around 0.59% of their pre-tax profits and 0.57% of total earnings.

However, the report shows that some large companies are significantly more generous than others, with 74% of the $867 million total coming from just nine companies, while 76% of the total came from three sectors (minerals, finance and consumer/retail).

The mining and minerals sector led the way with $359 million in community contributions, accounting for just under half (41%) of the total figure, with $333 million coming from mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto.

Beyond the mining sector, retail and industrial giant Wesfarmers donated 2.14% of its pre-tax profits to community causes, with health care company CSL chipping in 1.19% of its profits to community causes.

The donation figures include cash donations, time, in-kind contributions and management costs (including program costs, staff salaries, overhead, research and communications) for each of the companies.

Leverage, foregone revenue, political donations and commercial sponsorships were excluded from the figures.

“The companies included in this report should be acknowledged, congratulated and encouraged to continue their giving and reporting,” said Sarah Davies, CEO of Philanthropy Australia.

“Everyone benefits. We know how influential responsible, community and social investment and partnership is on positive employee attraction and retention, social license to operate and on broader customer, market and supplier engagement. The GivingLarge report helps shine a light on good practice and inspires others to follow suit.”

The full report is available for download at the STRIVE Philanthropy website.

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