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METHODOLOGY

GivingLarge provides an independent assessment of corporate giving, integrating globally validated standards to ensure robust evaluation

METHODOLOGY

GivingLarge provides an independent assessment of corporate giving, integrating globally validated standards to ensure robust evaluation

How we collect & present the data
GivingLarge analyses Australia's top companies by revenue with a current focus on ASX companies

Results are published by sector to ensure the most meaningful comparisons & to encourage industry specific leadership & best practice

Results are taken from publicly available annual & sustainability reports

By sharing only publicly available data we hope to encourage increased public disclosure of community investment & sustainability reporting

What's Published?
A companies community contribution as a % of earnings or profit (rolling 3yr average)

Profit is pre-tax & Earnings are before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation (EBITDA).

A companies total community contribution in dollar value (Prev Yr)

Counted contributions are aligned with global standards and include donations of cash, volunteer time, in-kind gifts & any management costs

Community Contribution Vs Previous Year & Primary Causes

The Strive Scorecards display a companies performance VS the previous year as well as a list of the preferred causes for their contribution

What's not Published?
The reported community contribution follows a globally validated methodology

It excludes commercial sponsorship, political donations, corporate leverage* & foregone revenue^

Why %?
Converting dollar values into relative percentages of profits enables robust comparisons & ensures a more meaningful review of a company's generosity.

Companies differ in size & profit margins, meaning that companies with higher profits will be able to contribute more dollars to the community

Assuring
the Data
Independent third party assurance ensures accurate and reliable claims about a company’s generosity and community impact

Several leading companies also adhere to stringent sustainability reporting standards ensuring increased transparency & reliable reporting

For those who like the detail

The GivingLarge research & associated report have adopted aligned elements of the LBG framework developed by Corporate Citizenship & the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards on corporate community investment.

Overall Scope

GivingLarge research focusses on ASX50 companies, publishing their giving statistics by sector and reviewing some key community investment parameters such as:

  • Contribution as a % of Profit or Earnings (rolling 3 year average)
  • Total Community Contribution as a Dollar Value
  • Standardisation, Assurance and Comprehensiveness of Reporting
  • Primary Causes selected by each company

Eligible community contributions adhered to global standards such as London Benchmarking Group (LBG) developed by Corporate Citizenship (membership not mandatory) and/or standards following the the Global Reporting Initiative G4 (GRI)^.

The GivingLarge research and associated report have adopted aligned elements of the LBG framework and the GRI standards on corporate community investment. Our analysis not only reviewed which companies are adhering to these important standards but also sought alignment from those companies who did not formally disclose their adherence. 

What’s included?

  • Cash
  • Time
  • In-kind contributions of product, property or services (incl. Pro Bono)
  • Management costs: program costs, staff salaries, benefits/overhead and research and communications.

What’s not included?

  • Leverage*
  • Foregone Revenue^
  • Political Donations
  • Commercial Sponsorships (eg. professional sporting team).

Let’s Talk Percentage

Reporting absolute dollar contribution is rarely useful when it comes to community investment. Companies differ in size and profit margins meaning that companies with higher profits are able to contribute more total dollars to the community in which they operate. Converting dollar values into relative percentages of company profits is one way to enable comparisons and ensures a more meaningful review of giving.

In line with global methodology, profit used in our research is pre-tax and earnings are before interest, tax, depreciation & amortisation (EBITDA). In this research a company’s community contribution as a % of earnings or profit is published as a rolling 3 year average.

Third Party Assurance

Independent assessment of an organization’s reported community investment is imperative to ensure accurate and reliable claims about a company’s generosity and community impact. An important part of our analysis was to identify which companies engaged in third party assurance. Third party assurers act to ensure that the preparation and presentation of a company’s sustainability report is in accordance with the agreed upon standard or company definition and in the case of limited assurance (which the majority of our sample utilised), that  no amendments are required to meet these standards.

Comparing Apples with Apples

As different companies may define profits in different ways, it is important to ensure that the same things are being compared across companies. For example, mining companies will report income differently to banks based on industry specific factors. For the ASX50 this means grouping companies by how they declare their profits or earnings before tax. Due to the volatility of profits in some sectors and lack of disclosure of earnings in other sectors, our analysis is mixed. Grouping companies by sector (ASX defined) also acts to ensure an aligned review of company contribution, eliminating cross-sector variables, reporting discrepancies and allowing companies to learn from their peers. It follows that due to these aforementioned variables, that comparisons within the same sector are most meaningful. 

Footnotes:

* The measure of any additional resources contributed to a community organization or activity that come from sources other than the company.

^ The revenue foregone for community benefit on fees, products & services provided for free or discounted

For further reading & definitions please refer to: GRI G4 implementation Manual, LBG Guidance Manual