Staff unsure about employers’ willingness to back charities, survey reveals

Staff are confused about their employers’ credentials in supporting charities, including running payroll giving schemes, a survey has revealed.

Among those surveyed almost half (46%) do not know whether their employer donates a proportion of their profits to good causes.

Meanwhile, a similar proportion (41%) do not know if their bosses offer a payroll giving scheme, whereby donations to charity are taken from staff payslips before income tax is deducted. Such schemes often involve matched contributions from employers.

The survey has been carried out by Charities Aid Foundation and also found that more than a third (35%) of staff do not believe their employers donate at all.

CAF says that this could see many firms miss out in the employment market, as almost half (47%) of those surveyed said they would be more inclined to work for a business that donates to good causes. Furthermore, more than two thirds (68%) believe businesses have an obligation to support local communities in areas they operate.

Specifically, around payroll giving, just under a fifth (18%) say such a scheme is not available in their workplace. A further 40% believe this is not available to them, but are not sure.

“Working for a business that has a social purpose matters to employees and jobseekers,” said CAF managing director of philanthropy services, Mark Greer.

“How a company supports its communities, whether local or global, is increasingly seen as fundamental to attract and retain talent in a world where competition is high.

“However, corporate responsibility needs to be authentic and transparent. Embedding purpose by engaging employees and partnering with charities can help a business to have a positive impact on society and meet its strategic goals.”

He added that payroll giving in particular is an “accessible and affordable way for employees to engage with their employer’s responsible values”.

The survey, of more than 1,000 people was carried out by YouGov in December 2022.

Last August CAF revealed that its payroll giving scheme Give As You Earn has raised more than £1.6bn since it launched in 1987, supporting 40,000 charities and involving 2,000 employers.

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