Having fun or doing good?

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Posted in: Analysis/Comment, Community, Speaking Out

Having fun or doing good?

April 01, 2000

Tetley Tea gets Britain moving

Tetley Tea launched a major cause-related marketing campaign in February, linking sales to the collection of sports equipment for schools. Free Sports Stuff for Schools is making available £18 million of equipment to 36,000 schools in the UK. Also included is fundraising for the British Olympic Team at the Sydney games and a new grass-roots initiative, Get Britain Moving , which will promote health awareness among young people. Tetley says children now spend an average 16 hours a week playing computer games or logged onto the Internet. This compares to just two hours PE lessons a week, the national curriculum target which many schools fail to meet. Contact David Kellas, Tetley, on 020 8338 4000 (http://www.sydneysportsstuff.co.uk)

Putting Buxton in to bat

Buxton Mineral Water plans a big boost to cricket in primary schools this year, amid continuing debate about the future of team sports in Britain’s schools. The company is extending its Buxton MCC Cricket Challenge , launched last Spring, to 16,000 children in 80 schools, compared to the total of 10,000 in fifty schools who participated last year. The programme is run with MCC at Lord’s cricket ground and is supported by Sportsmatch, the government-funded incentive scheme set up in 1992 to encourage commercial sponsorship of grassroots sports. Sportsmatch has paid out £38 million for some 2,400 sports sponsorship projects, £3.5 million of this to cricket projects. Buxton continues the family sports theme by contributing mineral water to 180,000 participants in Race for Life this year, which raises money for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. Contact Nalini Bissanouth, Buxton Mineral Water, on 01923 897700

One 2 One kicks in

The mobile phone company now part of Deutsche Telekom, One 2 One , is partnering with a new sports charity and The Football Association to launch its One 2 One Ability Counts initiative, announced February 2. The aim is to increase football opportunities for people with a disability. Of 90 football league clubs surveyed last year by the sports charity, the English Federation of Disability Sport, only 6% offered opportunities for players with physical disabilities. The One 2 One Ability Counts programme will offer coaching at League Club football development days across England. It aims to spot talent and develop regional and national squads with regular competitions. Other funders are Sportsmatch and Umbro . Contact Neil Bent, One 2 One, on 07957 143450 (http://www.one2one.co.uk)

On your Marks…..

Marks & Spencer is sponsoring both the British Olympic and the Paralympic teams for the 2000 Games in Sydney this September. The move, announced February 15, will involve designing the teams’ parade uniforms and formal wear, and promoting the Olympics and the teams throughout Marks & Spencer stores in the coming months. Contact Sean Curtis, Marks & Spencer, on 020 7935 4422

Learn to swim in Scotland

Swimming teachers have gained new resources with the announcement of the Bank of Scotland Learn to Swim Syllabus on February 23. The Bank is the largest commercial sponsor of youth sport in Scotland and this scheme adds a seventh sport to its programme. The syllabus provides Scottish teachers with templates for swimming lessons at five levels, and will be promoted via roadshows to all 32 Scottish local authorities, with the aim of becoming the ideal model for teaching young people to swim. Contact Alison Gemmell, Bank of Scotland, on 0131 243 7059 (http://www.bankofscotland.co.uk)

Strip 4 Shelter starts second season

Shelter’s football based campaign, Strip 4 Shelter , which last year raised £250,000 with the backing of companies like Ford , Dr Martens and PowerGen , has been launched for a second year. The initiative involves football fans wearing their favourite team’s shirt to work or school on Friday September 22 and donating £2 to Shelter (50p for schoolchildren). Contact Rachel Grant, Shelter, on 020 7505 2162 (http://www.shelter.org.uk)

Comment

Theologians and philosophers will happily debate at length whether the end can justify the means. Those charged with improving corporate reputation, promoting brands or enhancing the company’s wider impact in society can rarely be so precious. With huge sums now going into commercial sports sponsorship, community affairs managers have rightly tried to divert a share into schemes which meet their own social investment objectives – especially as sport can be highly effective in reaching parts of society other means cannot.

The first problem – how to structure payments in ways which do not suffer tax penalties – can usually (though not always) be overcome by a little creative accountancy. The second is what to count towards the total community contribution. The link with brands makes the purists queasy, especially as UK charity law says sport and recreation are not charitable per se. (Having fun did not feature strongly in the Elizabethan religious dogma on which the first charity codification was based.) Before allowing registration, the Charity Commission applies its strict ‘social welfare’ test: does benefit flow to “people in need by reason of youth, age, infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances”?

Many schemes like those we report above meet that test, even if the chosen organisation running the project would never be allowed across the Commissioners’ doorstep. That’s why the London Benchmarking Group model says to look for the company’s motivation, not the means used, in deciding what to count, always being careful to exclude elements which are purely commercial. It’s messy, but that’s inevitable if business budgets are used to get help to where it’s needed.

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 51 – April, 2000

COMMENT:

With the annual charity fundraising event BT Swimathon still running and the London Flora Marathon just over, it seems more and more companies are putting big budgets behind sport sponsorships with a social
spin-off.

Theologians and philosophers will happily debate at length whether the end can justify the means. Those charged with improving corporate reputation, promoting brands or enhancing the company’s wider impact in society can rarely be so precious. With huge sums now going into commercial sports sponsorship, community affairs managers have rightly tried to divert a share into schemes which meet their own social investment objectives – especially as sport can be highly effective in reaching parts of society other means cannot.

The first problem – how to structure payments in ways which do not suffer tax penalties – can usually (though not always) be overcome by a little creative accountancy. The second is what to count towards the total community contribution. The link with brands makes the purists queasy, especially as UK charity law says sport and recreation are not charitable per se. (Having fun did not feature strongly in the Elizabethan religious dogma on which the first charity codification was based.) Before allowing registration, the Charity Commission applies its strict ‘social welfare’ test: does benefit flow to “people in need by reason of youth, age, infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances”?

Many schemes like those we report above meet that test, even if the chosen organisation running the project would never be allowed across the Commissioners’ doorstep. That’s why the London Benchmarking Group model says to look for the company’s motivation, not the means used, in deciding what to count, always being careful to exclude elements which are purely commercial. It’s messy, but that’s inevitable if business budgets are used to get help to where it’s needed.

Corporate Citizenship Briefing, issue no: 51 – April, 2000

COMMENTS