Lottery looms on the horizon

April 01, 1994

New figures show corporate donations holding up well, while hopes and fears over the lottery mount in the charity world.


The overall level of corporate donations is holding constant, according to the new edition of The Major Companies Guide, published by the Directory of Social Change in January. While two thirds of the top corporate donors have actually increased their level of giving, other have reported sharp falls.

Companies reporting a large increase in charitable donations include GrandMet (£3.8 million to £4.5 million), Sainsbury (£1.4 million to £1.8 million), and Digital (£625,000 to £1.4 million). Donations by the electricity companies have risen substantially, National Power, National Grid and PowerGen together giving £1 million more. Building societies also gave more, the Halifax increasing its contributions from £593,000 to £1 million.

Companies affected by the recession and reporting decreases in charitable donations of at least £500,000 include IBM, THORN EMI and TSB, all members of the Per Cent Club. Heron International, among the top ten givers in 1991, is now only honouring existing commitments through its Ronson Foundations.

Of the 400 companies included in the Guide, 80 appear for the first time. In total they made charitable donations of £151 million and community contributions of £248 million. The average company gives £380,000. The guide estimates that corporate giving now accounts for two per cent of voluntary sector income. The Major Companies Guide is available from Directory of Social Change (071 284 4364) price £14.95, 224pp, ISBN 1 873860 22 6


A new survey shows wide differences in charitable giving between different countries. Published by the Charities Aid Foundation on January 24, International Giving and Volunteering Survey, also shows that the levels of volunteering tends to reflect those of giving. Detailed findings include:

the Spanish are most likely to give to charity (71%) compared to 65% of the British and only 27% of the French

in Britain, door to door and street collections were the most popular methods of giving, while in Canada and the United States around 60% give through a place of worship

Canada and the United States have the highest individual donations per month, £22 and £17.50 respectively, compared to Spain £7.50, Britain £7 and France £4

in Spain, giving through a lottery accounted for 54% of donations- an indication of the potential impact of a lottery in Britain

Canadians devote most time to charitable work, with 25% volunteering regularly, compared to 15% in Britain and only 10% in France.

The findings are based on 1,000 interviews conducted in each country (Britain, Spain, France, Canada and the USA) during March 1991. International Giving and Volunteering Survey is available from CAF (0732 367922) price £16.95, 88pp, ISBN 0 904757 59 5


Peter Davis, Director General of the National Lottery, issued on December 21 the Invitation to Apply (ITA) to applicants to run a “tasteful” national lottery, with a deadline for full bids to be submitted by February 14. The ITA stipulates that the main licence will run until September 2001. Applicants must detail their business plan, game plan and marketing strategy and to ensure system security and propriety. A customer charter must be drawn up, and the share of proceeds to be handed over to charitable causes must be specified. The successful application will be announced by the end of May, the formal licence then being awarded in July. The lottery should then be launched at the end of 1994 or early in 1995. Contact the Office of the National Lottery on 071 211 6147


NCVO issued its own recommendations on the running of the national lottery, in its Response to the Draft Invitation to Apply for a Licence to Run the National Lottery, published on November 30. It warns that the lottery could result in an overall fall in charitable income if people decide to buy tickets instead of giving the money direct to charity. NCVO’s detailed recommendations include:

the licence to specify a fixed percentage of the proceeds which can be retained as profit

this proportion of proceeds, not the actual amount returned to good causes, should be taken into account when assessing bids

non-executive directors on the operator’s board should include experts on the charitable sector and on the social effects of gambling

Contact Dave Leggett, NCVO Economic Policy Team on 071 713 6161


Consumer attitudes to sponsorship remain very positive, with corporate support for community and environmental projects being welcomed, according to a new survey commissioned by Hollis Directories to mark the launch of the Hollis Sponsorship Newsletter. Almost half of consumer respondents even favour sponsorship of the NHS and emergency services. However, the survey found that recall of the sponsors of individual events is low.

The second edition of the Hollis Sponsorship and Donations Yearbook, published in January, shows an increase in the number of companies now investing in sponsorship, with 150 more sponsors included. The biggest investors remain banks, insurance companies, breweries, oil companies, car manufacturers and large retail firms. Contact Rosemary Sarginson, Hollis Directories, on 0932 784781


The Allied Dunbar Foundation has committed £1.5 million over the next two years to support projects focusing on the family. Announced on January 24, the theme of the family was chosen to tie in with the International Year of the Family. The Foundation is funded by the Allied Dunbar sales force and a 0.25% levy on pre-tax profits. Individual projects requiring funding will be nominated by the regional branches of the company.

In addition to the Foundation, Allied Dunbar also has a Charitable Trust, funded by 1% levy on pre-tax profits, and a Staff Fund, raised by staff at the head office in Swindon. In total, these made grants worth £4.4 million during 1992 and 1993. Contact Shona Jennings or Hilary Hares, Allied Dunbar, on 0793 514514


The latest survey from the Directory of Social Changes appears to show corporate giving holding up well, with only the obvious casualties of recession reporting significant reductions. The big question on the charitable funding agenda is the lottery. For companies, a watching brief is required at this stage. Individual charitable giving is still by far the biggest source of income for most charities. The lottery seems likely to increase the total money available but may radically alter which charities get it. Of course it is possible the lottery will be marketed in a way that encourages wider charitable support, and it will be interesting to see how Richard Branson’s not-for-profit bid fares. But experience from other countries shows this is not likely to be successful, the gamble and prizes being the prime motivating factor.

If there is a shift away from less popular charities, companies will want to consider directing more support to the less immediately attractive causes. Fewer sick dogs, more homeless young people?

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 14 – February, 1994