LBG results deliver a more strategic approach to CCI but impact measurement is still missing 

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The results of the eleventh Annual LBG Benchmarking Report were unveiled at the 2016 LBG Conference in Melbourne on 15 November. 100 per cent of reporting members provided data on the outputs of their organisation’s community investment activity for the year which includes total beneficiaries, supported organisations, employees involved, leverage and foregone revenue.

Overall, we saw encouraging results including an increase in overall community investment contributions. In 2016, the total corporate community contribution by LBG members increased to over $236 million, an increase of $14 million from the 2015 figure. The financial services sector represents the largest contributor, a trend observed over the majority of reporting years. The largest majority of contributions were cash at 62%, followed by in-kind support at 15%.

There was a greater shift towards community investment away from charitable donations which indicates a maturity and more strategic approach from our members towards forming partnerships with charity organisations. 66% of members now contribute community investment followed by charitable donations at 21%, which has decreased by 4% from the previous year.

Social welfare causes and charities remains the dominant beneficiary of member contributions this year increasing from 26% in 2015 to 29% in 2016. Health initiatives also received a boost with the highest level of contributions in ten years at 25% of contributions made.

We also saw the highest levels ever of members offering workplace giving opportunities within their organisations with 71% of members providing employee giving programs. Volunteering programs also remained steady with nearly 14 per cent of employees taking paid time off to volunteer with an average of 11 hours donated per employee. Encouragingly we also saw a shift towards skilled volunteering which is likely to be of greater benefit to charities.

However, despite more organisations offering workplace giving programs (and many choosing to match employee contributions), there was only a 4% take-up from employees which was down from 7% in 2015 and overall employees are giving less.

LBG Director Simon Robinson said, “It is encouraging that workplaces are offering workplace giving programs and in many instances matching donations, but it is clear from this result it is simply not enough to have a program. It must be invested in with a communications strategy to promote and engage staff. Only then can we truly reap the benefits.”

Also despite recognition of its importance, only 14% of members reported on impact data. LBG Manager Jennifer Saunders issued a challenge to all members at the conference by saying, “Impact data is able to tell us about behaviour change, new skills and quality of life for beneficiaries, as well as improved job related skills, services, management and business profile.”

“Impact data is what we need to showcase our CCI strategies to build a stronger case for our programs, and we want to see 100 per cent of members reporting impact data in 2017.”

This year, 41 LBG members from Australia and New Zealand reported their organisation’s community investment results including 37 who reported in both 2015/16.

The full Annual LBG Benchmarking Report is available here.