Eye on business – British charities angry

Increasing charitable activity by companies is the focus of separate initiatives launched in Canada and the United Kingdom.

An independent commission, launched Feb. 8 at the Toronto Stock Exchange, will study how corporations can be more accountable to employees, customers, communities, the environment, the country and the global community.

“Corporations are under pressure to deliver short-term profits at the expense of long-term strategy and broader social concerns,” said Avie Bennett, chair of McClelland and Stewart and co-founder of the Canadian Democracy and Corporate Accountability Commission. “Our commission will bring all sectors aboard to see how we can get some balance.”

In London, the National Council for Voluntary Organizations called for naming and shaming big firms that provide little or no charitable support to volunteer groups that work to support local communities, The Guardian reported, Feb. 8.

The council called on the next government to publish a report showing the share of profits donated to charity.

The business sector provides only 5 percent of donated income to the volunteer sector, the group said.

“The gloves are off in relation to business giving,” said Stuart Etherington, the council’s chief executive. “We have tried to engage with companies and I would be the first to praise those that do well. But it is time the government got tougher by taking a more active stance in encouraging businesses to give.”

For full story, go to Northern Light and The Guardian.

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