To mark this year’s #UKCharityWeek – 3rd – 9th December 2018 – organisations should take the opportunity to review their charitable giving, ensuring that they are fairly supporting a variety of good causes, and not just the same well-known national charities each year.

Smaller charities and good causes provide essential support within communities that are dealing with the accumulative impact of years of local government cuts. However, they often miss out on vital corporate funding as they simply cannot compete with the big-name charities when it comes to generating awareness of their funding needs and having the time and skills to identify and build relationships with the decision makers in businesses who decide which charities to give money to.

Indeed, according to our research, 77 percent of respondents – with management responsibility for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) or Charitable Fundraising for their employer or business –agreed that many more local charities and good causes are losing or seeing cuts in funding from central and local government. Yet the majority (58 percent) reported that between just one and five charities/good causes had benefitted from their CSR initiatives in the last 12 months. What’s more, most of this funding was donated to national charities (42 percent), compared with just 20 percent being allocated to those operating at a local level.

For businesses that are familiar with good causes in their local area, the paperwork involved in donating a portion of overall funds is the same as it would be to donate an entire annual charitable CSR budget to one national charity. In fact, 42 percent of respondents to our survey agreed with the statement that ‘the administrative burden on our CSR team restricts our ability to donate/raise money for multiple/local causes.’

A combination of the arduous administrative burden and the fact that smaller charities are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to marketing themselves in a sector dominated by the large national charities, results in the majority of businesses funnelling money into the same pool of large national charities.

Technology makes it far easier for resource-poor organisational CSR/charitable fundraising teams and time-limited employees to proactively and collaboratively find, support and manage the right charitable projects for their business. Using an online platform, businesses can also collaborate with other charitable grant makers without adding any new processes, using technology to manage the matching and cultivate the collaborative nature of giving. This ensures that charitable funds are distributed more equitably across the sector to those that need it most, rather than just the largest or best-known, with the added benefit of introducing true transparency when it comes to how the money is ultimately used. 

With this in mind, in #UKCharityWeek, businesses should review how they use technology to manage their charitable funds and employee fundraising, ensuring that they are their money goes to those that need it most in their local communities.  Online matching technology can do what streaming did for the music industry and what comparison websites have done for finding insurance, enabling businesses and their employees to put their charitable budgets to the best possible use.

By The Good Exchange