Corporate Australia continues record breaking giving in 2021.
Contributions from Corporate Australia to the most vulnerable in the community continued at outstanding levels in 2021.
A comprehensive financial analysis of Australia’s top companies found $1.2 billion was invested into philanthropic efforts in 2021 from our top 50 corporate givers – up $42 million from last year’s record total.
Now in its fourth year, the GivingLarge Report provides an annual record of corporate philanthropy in Australia. The research shines a light on corporate giving and the outstanding community efforts made by many of our leading organisations.
2021 pleasingly saw strong levels of community investment by our top companies with no signs of a negative rebound post the significant “cometh the crisis” contributions of 2020.
Report author and Strive Philanthropy Founder Jarrod Miles said, “last years figures were encouraging but did leave us concerned about a possible drop in community investment this year, worrying that companies would respond to lower profits and an ongoing pandemic by tightening their purse strings. Perhaps the most pleasing result of this year’s research was to see that this prediction didn’t play out. To see that companies held tight to their community budgets despite these challenges”.
Largest contributions came from companies like; BHP, Coles, CSL, Rio Tinto and The Commonwealth Bank, while largest percentage contributions (of profit over a rolling 3 years) came from Coles, Star Entertainment, TAB Corp, South32 and Oil Search.
Supermarket giant Coles ranked number 1 in percentage contribution. Coles contributing $124 million in 2021, representing a remarkable 8.7 per cent of the company’s profit on a rolling 3-year basis. Their 2021 figure on par with last year’s contribution with the funds going towards food rescue, health and disaster relief.
Sally Fielke, Corporate Affairs General Manager at Coles saying, “In a year when many Australians experienced severe hardship as a result of COVID-19 while others faced hardship in the wake of fires, floods and cyclones, we were pleased to work together with our customers, team members and suppliers to provide unprecedented community support”
“A key component of our community support were our donations of unsold, edible food – equivalent to more than 35 million meals – to help feed vulnerable Australians as we work toward our long-term aspiration for zero waste and waste hunger.”
Across the full year analysis, the percentage of pre-tax profit given from Top 50 companies in 2021 was an overall 0.97 per cent, compared to 1.11 per cent in 2020. The change mostly attributable to a large increase in profits in the materials and finance sector which offset percentage calculations.
Remarkably 10 of the top 50 companies increased their community investment by more than 20% with the increase from the top 4 biggest movers adding to more than $63 million.
“The increase from these companies underpinned the growth we saw in our overall number” said Miles. “Put another way, the growing community investment in these companies helped to ensure steady funding totals in 2021”
Not surprisingly contributions to the environment saw an 18% increase in investment versus last year however most giving (68%) continued to be directed to areas within health, education and social welfare.
Philanthropy Australia have been long term supporters of the report and commented on the critical need for research in this area, CEO Jack Heath saying “The data is essential to not only understanding how corporate Australia engages in philanthropy but also to provide inspiring examples of the innovative and transformative ways some of our businesses do their giving.”
The report calls out some of this transformation, describing an encouraging emergence of a new frontier in corporate philanthropy coming through from new age companies like Atlassian, Cotton On and Who Gives a Crap.
“Alongside the record numbers over the last few years there is an exciting ground swell of corporate engagement and new age innovation that has well and truly arrived” said Miles. “In this appealing turn of events, social good is no longer second in importance to these leading companies. Meaningful social commitments are effectively sitting in tandem with financial goals”
Despite the encouraging totals there is still significant opportunity for growth in this area.
“The future for philanthropy is to become more generous” says Heath, “but it’s also about being more strategic and focused in our giving: our corporate leaders have a critical role to play in leading and driving that change”
Full 2021 GivingLarge Report is available here
Media Release, December 3 2021
For more information contact Strive Philanthropy at [email protected]
The GivingLarge Report and research sets out to highlight the considerable community contributions being made by some of Australia’s top companies. The research conducted annually by Strive Philanthropy analyses the publicly available reports of our top companies, compiling their community investment statistics to develop a unique data set aimed to draw attention to corporate Australia’s efforts in this area. Supported by Philanthropy Australia, the findings of this report will: Inform future corporate behaviour in community investment; encourage increased contributions & transparency; stimulate best practice sharing and create an environment of healthy philanthropic competition.
About Strive Philanthropy
Strive Philanthropy is a research organisation dedicated to highlighting the notable philanthropic efforts of corporate Australia within our community. By highlighting corporate generosity through focussed research and public awareness efforts we will help to drive valued social change, increased transparency and increased community contributions. Strive has its sights set on working with companies to rapidly grow their mean percentage community investment. A goal that could drive millions of dollars to the Australian community.