B.C. businesses shifting to partner with charities rather than cash donations: report

Nearly doubled contributions in the form of partnership offset decrease in cash donations  

Businesses in British Columbia are contributing to charities more through partnerships than cash donations compared with 2012, according to a report released by the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) on December 4.

The new study, titled Prosperous Companies, Prosperous Communities, conducted by MNP LLP for the second year, outlined $373 million of total contributions to charities from businesses in 2013, out of which $302 are cash donations and $71 million through sponsorships and partnerships.

Cash donations have decreased by 4% from 2012, but charitable contributions through partnerships have increased 88% from $18 million, with a general $3 million increase in total contributions from businesses in 2013.

Greg D’Avignon, president and CEO of the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC), said the increased partnerships have a real value in the communities the companies operate.

“Not-for-profits are looking more strategically around where their interests align,” said D’Avignon. “There’s alignment of the actual need in the community.”

The report also indicates that the larger the company, the greater the contribution, where companies with over 500 employees contribute 50% of total recorded donations.

However, micro companies with less than five employees often make private donations for tax reasons, which is not captured in the report, added D’Avignon. The report speaks of an estimated $2.2 billion of total donations to B.C. charities in 2012.

“The healthier the company, the better the economy, the more money goes into charity,” said D’Avignon.