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Philanthropy and businesses can go hand-in-hand, data finds

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According to a study by National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC), 64% of the companies that align themselves with philanthropy and volunteerism (i.e. corporate giving) have found ways to integrate giving into core business functions.

The findings are from the Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) 2017, is a national study conducted by Singapore-based NVPC that examines philanthropy, volunteerism and other ways of giving among business corporations in Singapore.

More than one-third (38%) of those companies engage in procurement, while 28% of them purchase products and services from non-profit organisations. Another 28% of them use staff volunteer activities to cultivate staff’s professional skills.

ALSO READ: Doing good: An ethical imperative for businesses

Out of the giving companies that engage in volunteering, two in five (43%) are motivated to do so as it supports their company’s mission or business model, while two-thirds (66%) do so as part of employee-related factors such as team building, talent development, and recruitment.

The 49% that engaged in philanthropy and 42% of companies that volunteer, said that interest from senior management drove their respective giving activities.

In addition to the 52% of companies that currently give, a further 31% are keen to start, which could grow Singapore’s corporate giving rate significantly.

Some industries with a small number of employees such as real estate and business services, and transportation and storage, have employee volunteerism rates that are on par with those with larger employee pools. This suggests that resource constraints do not discourage corporate giving.

Two in five (42%) opotential givers came from businesses in the information and communications sector. Accommodation and food services (70%), as well as finance and insurance (58%), are the two industries with the highest giving rates in Singapore.

While cash donations are the most popular (62%), businesses also embrace other ways of giving, such as purchasing goods from non-profit organisations (37%) and donations in kind (37%).

Melissa Kwee, chief executive officer of NVPC, said: “It’s good news that that many businesses have embraced corporate giving with an entrepreneurial spirit that fuels both profit and purpose. This people-centric and purposeful approach will help ensure that corporate giving is more impactful and sustainable.”

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