Why healthcare is the UK's most philanthropic industry

New figures show healthcare donated twice as much to charity over the last six years than any other industry. The technology sector, on the other hand, has given just £2.5m...

by Emma Haslett
Last Updated: 21 Jan 2016

Those tech companies clustered around Old Street Roundabout may be achingly trendy, but it turns out they’re not very generous: a study of FTSE 100 firms published by the Charities Aid Foundation today show the biggest companies in the technology sector have donated just £2.5m to charity in the past six years. Healthcare, on the other hand, donated £4.6bn. That’s more than 1.5% of its revenue.

The figures also showed that since the recession, FTSE 100 companies have almost doubled the amount they donate to charity, from £1.3bn in 2007 to £2.5bn in 2012. Median donation has almost trebled, from £1.1m per year to £3m.

If this is an attempt to show they’re more than just the tax dodging, rate fixing, money-grabbing corporations everyone increasingly assumes, it’s not working: even though 61% of people assume it’s a PR exercise, only one in five thought more than half of FTSE 100 companies gave to charity. So - shock, horror - it may be they’re doing it out of the goodness of their own hearts.

What’s interesting is that a company’s generosity is being increasingly scrutinised by both customers and employees: 52% of people agreed they’d be ‘more inclined’ to buy a product from a business that donates to charities, while 45% said they’d be more likely to work for a philanthropic company.

As John Low, the CAF’s chief executive, said: ‘I often hear stories that hopeful graduates look into the charitable work of a company directly after browsing the jobs pages - this is becoming an increasingly important factor when it comes to career choices.’

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."