The eleventh edition of The Guide to UK Company Giving from UK charity Directory of Social Change has found that over 400 companies made community contributions in the UK totalling over £420 million but some £111 million has "gone missing".
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: £22 million), Vodafone (last reported figure: £21 million) and Shell (last reported figure: £12 million) 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, said: “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 went 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.”
The top ten company givers (by total contribution):
1. Lloyds Banking Group - £64,000,000
2. ITV PLC - £24,000,000
3. Santander UK plc - £22,000,000
4. Eccelsiastical Insurance Group plc - £20,400,000
5. HSBC Holdings plc - £18,650,000
6. Marks and Spencer Group plc - £15,500,000
7. Goldman Sachs International - £14,300,000
8. Impetus - the Private Equity Foundation - £11,600,000
9. John Lewis Partnership plc - £11,600,000
10. Royal Mail plc - £10,400,000
Directory of Social Change is a national charity supporting tens of thousands of charities each year through campaigning, training and publications.