Corporate philanthropy in the U.k. 1985–2000 some empirical findings

Journal of Business Ethics 39 (1-2):29 - 41 (2002)
This paper briefly reviews the theories that seek to explain the phenomenon of corporate charitable donations and then provides a review of the empirical issues that have arisen in previous studies in this area. The findings of an analysis of charitable donations data from the entire U.K. FTSE index for the years 1985–2000 are then reported. These findings include the observation of a time-related increase in charitable donations, which is compared with an earlier study to give a 24 year history of charitable donations in the U.K. The findings note little responsiveness of the monetary value of charitable donations to the economic performance of firms. An international comparison over time against U.S. trends is also reported and shows how U.S. corporations have traditionally been more generous than U.K. firms, but that the trend in the U.S. is downwards. Membership of a U.K.-based "tithing" club (the PerCent Club) is shown to be associated with higher profit performance against non-members. Members' charitable contributions against profit are shown to be higher than the FTSE mean although short of the 0.5% target figure in "cash" terms. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of these findings in relation to the theoretical positions advanced for corporate philanthropy.
Keywords corporate-community-involvement  corporate-philanthropy  corporate-social-responsibility  corporate-social-versus-financial-performance  PerCent-club
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