Sunday 25 February 2018

Ireland bucks the trend as companies give generously to charity

An illustration of the most philanthropic companies in Ireland.
An illustration of the most philanthropic companies in Ireland.
Sarah Stack

Sarah Stack

Philanthropy in Ireland appears to be alive and well and may be even bucking the trend at a time when charitable donations are down, according to this latest study.

Employees in almost 50 of the country's largest firms volunteered some 162,000 hours to local groups and projects last year, as well as raising more than €3m for causes through various events and initiatives.

But which of the big multi-nationals handed over the most?

Tech giant Microsoft did if you include the €8.8m it gives in "in kind donations" that would take account of any software and computers it gives to charities – but the figure plummets to €208,177 when cash alone is added up.

Drug-maker MSD gave the most cash with €1.8m, but staff in Bank of Ireland raised the most handing over €1.8m and Intel's workforce gave the most time, a staggering 60,000 hours.

The details of who gave what, and where, to who, have been released in Business in the Community Ireland's (BITCI) impact map at http://livemaps.bitc.ie, which captures statistics county to county and firm by firm.

Support

Last year, 49 firms contributed over €24m – equating to €66,000 a day – to support community groups and organisations in addressing key social issues and causes.

Unsurprisingly, Dublin topped the board with 2,269 partnerships formed between organisations and 50 companies, who donated a total of €16m in cash, products and services and have 88,170 volunteer hours.

Outside the capital, Kildare received €2.5m, Cork got €1.1m and Galway received €623,000. However for employee fundraising, Cork ranked the highest at €161,000 followed by Galway at €126,000 and Limerick at €125,000.

For volunteering hours, after Dublin, Kildare was well ahead of the rest with over 23,000 hours volunteered.

In stark contrast, Fermanagh had 10 partnerships firms who gave 27 hours and €3,383 in cash, products and services.

Established in 2001, BITCI is the country's leading organisation on corporate responsibility with a core membership of 70 of Ireland's largest companies.

Over 5,100 community partnerships were set up, €9.5mn in cash donations handed over, and €11m contributed through in kind donations – up from €6m in 2012.

Social issues that received the most support were health at €5.2m, education programmes at €5.5m, children and youth projects at €4.6m and community programmes at €2m – all controversial issues in the news in recent weeks.

Intel Ireland's Intel Involved and KPMG's Project BRIGHT are just two of the successful employee programmes that encourage and recognise staff who identify social issues, come up with unique solutions and use voluntary time to make a difference.

Irish Independent

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