An analysis of the fifty largest publicly traded companies in Australia ranks Wesfarmers — the conglomerate behind Coles, Bunnings, Kmart, and Target — as the "most generous" corporate giver in the country, a report from Melbourne-based Strive Philanthropy finds.
The inaugural GivingLarge Report (28 pages, PDF) examined cash donations, volunteer time, and in-kind gifts during the 2016-17 fiscal year and found that thirty-nine firms collectively contributed AUS $867 million ($637 million) to community causes. Ranked by the percentage of pre-tax profit contributed on a rolling three-year average, Wesfarmers topped the list at 2.1 percent of pre-tax profit and 1.4 percent of earnings, or AUS$72 million ($52.9 million); ranked by percentage of earnings contributed, CSL, the Sydney-based shipping company, was ranked number one at 1.73 percent, or AUS$52 million ($38.2 million). The average for the fifty corporations included in the study was 0.57 percent of earnings.
The report also found that the top nine companies in the survey accounted for 74 percent of the AUS$867 million total contributed by corporations and that the materials, finance, and consumer sectors accounted for 76 percent of the total. With roughly a quarter of Australian charities depending on charitable giving for at least 50 percent of their total revenue, and charities in the country receiving approximately AUS$10.5 billion annually in the form of donations and bequests, corporate giving represents a significant piece of the pie.
"From the boardroom to the battler, from the suits to the streets — there is a clear and growing need and responsibility for the companies around us to give back to the communities they operate in," said Strive Philanthropy founder Jarrod Miles. "Distinct from other corporate social rankings, the GivingLarge Report examines publicly available reports to ensure a robust sample not restricted by the need for a membership or survey completion. This approach creates a best practice environment that looks to not only increase corporate contributions, but also the public disclosure of those contributions."