Overstretched CSR decision-makers mean small charities lose out

Technology can help CSR charity funding decision-makers manage administrative overhead, says report.

Chloe Green | 26th Apr 18
CSR funding

Technology tools will prove vital in meeting the challenges that face charitable giving within UK organisations, according to a new survey of corporate social responsibility (CSR) managers.

A report from not-for-profit, The Good Exchange – Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility, Organisational and Employee Fundraising: How does it really work in the UK?  polled more than 200 corporate social responsibility (CSR) managers in Q1/2018.

Among its findings it discovered that more than three quarters (77%) of respondents agreed that many more local charities and good causes are losing out or seeing cuts in central and local government funding.

Yet even though 75% of managers polled agree that, as a result, corporate and employee fundraising activities are becoming much more important to the local community, 58% reported that between just one and five charities/good causes had benefited from their CSR initiatives in the last 12 months.

Furthermore, most of this funding was donated to national charities (42%), compared with just 20% being allocated to those charities operating at a local level.

Smaller charities and charitable initiatives miss out because they cannot compete with 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 those in businesses who decide which charities to give money to, the survey concluded.

Furthermore, for businesses that are aware of 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.

Indeed, 43% of respondents agreed with the statement that ‘the administrative burden on our CSR team restricts our ability to donate/raise money for multiple/local causes’.

Some 76% of managers said that outcome tracking, measurement and reporting and charitable programmes are important to their organisation, with 29% stating that it is ‘extremely important’.

Yet 44% of CSR managers rely on asking the recipient organisation to provide results to measure the impact of their charitable giving. Moreover, just 1% of respondents have an online reporting system or platform that displays results of their organisation’s charitable giving.

“Technology makes it possible for resource-constrained CSR/charitable fundraising teams and time-limited employees to proactively and collaboratively find, support and manage the right charitable projects for their business,” said Ed Gairdner, COO at The Good Exchange.

“Using an online platform, they can collaborate with other charitable grant makers without adding any new processes, using technology to manage the matching and cultivate the collaborative nature of giving.”

Technology also facilitates the provision of match-funding grants, where each pound raised for charity is matched by the organisation, effectively doubling the amount going to good causes, Gairdner added: “Think of a ‘reverse-crowdfund’ where a business or community of businesses, their employees, grant makers and donors work together to close the funding gap around a social cause or local need.”

“Matching technology enables businesses and their fundraising 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.”

The full report can be downloaded here.