Positive outlook ahead according to State of CCI survey results

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The State of Corporate Community Investment survey is designed to provide further insights into the results from the Annual LBG Benchmarking Report. The survey asks corporate community investment professionals from across Australia and New Zealand to share their thoughts, aspirations and plans for the future.

The results of the 2016 State of Corporate Community Investment Survey were released alongside the benchmarking report at this year’s annual conference and can be reviewed here. In 2016, almost 70 professionals completed the survey and included a mix of both LBG members and non-members.

Key outcomes from the survey include:

Budgets and flagship partnerships remain strong

Almost 95% of overall CCI budgets are set to remain the same or increase in 2016/17. Encouragingly, almost a quarter of all respondents plan to increase the number of flagship partnerships over the next year. The value of partnerships varied from $8,000 to $2million with an average contribution of around $200,000. However this amount is slightly less than the average that was reported last year, down by an estimated $30,000.

Workplace giving continues to be a priority

Similar to the LBG benchmarking results, workplace giving continues to be a key part of company’s CCI activities. 41% of respondents would like to increase the number of employees giving although this has dropped from 60% the previous year. Of those who do not currently have programs, 12% intend to start a workplace giving program in 2017.

Impact measurement is important but not well resourced

Encouragingly almost 80% of respondents see impact measurement as important, very important or essential yet two-thirds have not set aside budget for impact assessment despite acknowledging its important. LBG Director Australia and New Zealand Simon J Robinson reflected, “This finding is disappointing and paradoxical but matches the findings of other recent UK research published by Corporate Citizenship that revealed a gap between corporate aspirations and reality when it comes to CCI. We believe it is only when truly understanding the difference a company’s resources make can the real value be realised.” 

Public disclosure is on the decrease

Only a quarter of all respondents intend to publicly disclose CCI targets either as a percentage of pre-tax profit, dollar value or output related data (including employee figures, people involved, volunteer hours or workplace giving participation). This is a reduction on the intent reported in 2015, but likely to be representative of non-LBG members participating in the survey for the first time.

Corporate volunteering is a real opportunity for business

There is an increased appetite for corporate volunteering with 12% of respondents planning to start a volunteering program in 2016/17.  For those already with volunteering programs 44% will seek to increase their participation, and 30% plan to have a greater focus on skilled volunteering.

A desire to align with government

65% of respondents reported they are not influenced by government policy or agenda, though they do aim to align their activities when and where it is relevant to do so. The key issues of national importance, and where there may be the opportunity to work with government, includes reconciliation action plans, employment, health and climate change. Respondents would like to work more closely with government but state it can be challenging with a ‘blaming and shaming’ mentality.

Community partners feel the impacts of cuts to foreign aid

Of the respondents, 86% indicated that Government cuts to foreign aid have not impacted on their community investment strategies. However, a number cited that cuts were negatively impacting their community partners.

The future of challenges for CCI

A number of key themes emerged when respondents were asked to share what they saw as their key challenges for CCI in 2016/17. This included leadership, communication, impact, innovation and presenting a business case for investment in CCI. Respondents indicated that impact measurement and telling their story of CCI investments were the areas they would most likely need help with into the future.

Further information including expert commentary on the results and what they mean for the industry can be found here