Are FTSE100 companies proving cheap when it comes to charity?

Research by ‘win a house’ competition, (WMDH), has revealed the extent of the charitable donations made by a number of companies listed on the FTSE 100 Index and how much they are actually donating as a proportion of their income.

With a string of bad press following a number of poorly run house competitions in the UK, WMDH is aiming to change the public perception of the competition format. But in addition to the consumer benefit to entering the competition, WMDH also wants to highlight the charitable benefit that they provide through the sale of their tickets.

By looking at the revenues and giving of numerous stock market listed companies – WMDH was able to discern each company’s charitable donations as a percentage of their revenues to see just how charitable they really are.

Shell, via its Shell Foundation, gave as little as 0.01% of its 2018 $388.4 billion revenue (£291.4 billion) to charity, while BP put 0.04% of its $303.7 billion revenue (£227.8 billion) from last year into ‘community investment’.

Other companies on the list were marginally more charitable, with 0.09% of HSBC’s revenue of £6.44 million for the year going to charitable causes, and Vodafone giving the same percentage of its €43.67 billion (£40.17 billion) income via its Vodafone Foundation.

Aviva was able to spare 0.10% of its £17.8 billion revenue in 2018, with the money going towards ‘community funding’, while BT ‘invested in society’ with 0.12% of its £23.7 billion income from last year.

Tesco’s charitable donations equated to 0.14% of its revenue of £63.91 billion this year, and Barclays gave 0.16% of its £21.14 billion income to ‘investment for communities’.

Sainsbury’s mustered 0.19% of its £23.5 million revenue for ‘community giving’, but way out in front among Win My Dream Home’s sample was Associated British Foods, who ‘supported the community’ as well as the Garfield Weston Foundation with 0.45% of its £15.57 billion revenue for the year.

Win My Dream Home, who are offering the prize of a £2.1 million luxury home in Kentish Town to those who enter the competition prize draw on their site, are donating 10% of all ticket sales to Great Ormond Street, the children’s hospital charity, a notably higher percentage than some of the world’s biggest companies.

Marc Gershon, Director at Misuma Ltd, the company behind Win My Dream Home commented:

“We appreciate that the amounts donated by these corporate entities is well-meant, however when you look at their donations as a percentage of their revenue, it’s not much more than a drop in the ocean.

Albeit that I have a very strong family tie to the children’s hospital charity of our choice, so maybe our donation is larger than most, we don’t feel that a 10% donation should be out of the question for these much, much larger companies.

For us, this competition format is about doing as much good as we can in the process of selling a home and not only should the consumer benefit from this, but we are adamant that there should be a charitable benefit as well. This is something we plan to do across a number of properties we have to sell, and we hope that we will be able to raise significant sums of money for charity on every competition house.”

Information / description of giving process or associations
Giving – (CSR, social investment, charitable giving, community investment, etc.)
Revenue in noted year
Giving as a % of revenue
Royal Dutch Shell
Shell foundation
$37,872,000 USD (2017) / £29,414,000 GBP
$388.4 billion USD (2018) / £291.4 billion GBP
HSBC UK bank plc
UK branch of HSBC holdings plc
£5,992,376 (2018)
£6,449 million (2019)
Community investment
$114.2 million USD (2018) / £85.7 million GBP
$303.7 billion USD (2018) / £227.8 billion GBP
Community giving
£45.8 million (2016)
£23,506 million GBP (2016)
Vodafone Group
Vodafone foundation
€43.67 billion EUR (2019) / £40.17 billion GBP
Community fund
£17.8 billion GBP (2018)
Investment for communities
£34.8 million (2018)
£21.14 billion GBP (2018)
BT Group
Investing in society
£28.7 million (2018)
£23.7 billion GBP (2018)
Associated British Foods
Supporting the community: Garfield Weston Foundation
£15.57 billion GBP (2018)
£88.6 million (2018/19)
£63.91 billion GBP (2019)

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