Small local charities are receiving lower donations from UK companies than large high-profile causes even though they concentrate on community needs and are hit more heavily by external factors such as cuts in government spending and charitable grants.
The disparity was highlighted by The Good Exchange, a non-profit body that links givers with beneficiaries, after a poll of 201 CSR managers in the first three months of 2018. The solution, however, may be in the office computer.
Three quarters of managers agreed the cuts made corporate and employee fund-raising more important to local charities but only 20 per cent of donations was contributed to them, compared with 42 per cent to national causes.
The National Council for Voluntary Organizations points out that 40 charities, or 0.2 per cent of the total, represent 18.4 per cent of all contributions, while 144,000, or 87 per cent, have an annual income below £500,000 ($708,000, €573,000).
Ed Gairdner, The Good Exchange chief operating officer, offered an explanation: “Smaller charities and charitable initiatives provide essential support within communities that are dealing with the impact of years of local government cuts.
“However, they are missing out on vital corporate funding as they simply cannot compete with the big national 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 business who decide which charities to give money to.”
The burden of the paperwork and administration involved is one obstacle, and many managers find it difficult to obtain detailed information about individual charities when choosing which ones to support.
The technology that does the job for managers could be the answer, suggested Gairdner.
He said: “Matching technology enables businesses and their fund-raising employees to work more effectively with the charitable industry to rapidly and proactively identify and provide funding to those in need, even if they do not know each other.
“We believe it has a vital role in levelling the playing field for the distribution of charitable funds locally, regionally and nationally, but with, importantly, less administrative effort.”
And this, he concluded, is “ultimately to the benefit of us all”.