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CAF is one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations. We produce research on charities and charitable giving, develop policy ideas and work with people, companies and charities to help good causes thrive.

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Business leaders should lead the way on payroll giving - report

8 October 2013

Top business executives and corporations should set an example and encourage giving to charity at work, according to evidence presented to a major inquiry into stimulating support for charities.

A summary of evidence presented to the Growing Giving Inquiry, launched by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), includes calls for senior business leaders and large and small firms to get involved with fundraising events, payroll giving and other charity initiatives in the workplace to encourage employees to take part.

Proposals put to inquiry members David Blunkett MP, Andrew Percy MP and Baroness Tyler of Enfield, include encouraging employees to choose company charities, offering staff public recognition for supporting charities, and considering match-funding schemes to encourage giving.

The inquiry took evidence from a wide range of major businesses including Google, WM Morrisons, BT and McDonalds on ways of promoting workplace giving,

Previous research by the Cabinet Office’s Nudge Unit and CAF has also shown the impact of CEOs encouraging charitable giving. In one trial at Deutsche Bank a scheme was run to encourage employees to give up their salary for a day to a chosen charity. When employees received a personalised email from the CEO asking them to consider taking part, participation went up by 12%. This highlights the impact prominent individuals can have in the workplace by sending out strong social signals and embracing charitable activities.

CAF will be using this summary report and reports from the two other strands of the inquiry to create recommendations which will be collated in a final report, to be published in early 2014. The third strand of the inquiry Going on Giving will look at how people can support charities after they retire and CAF will be collecting evidence from mid October.

Chantell Mills-Callard, Senior Corporate Client Manager at the Charities Aid Foundation, said: “Businesses can have a profound effect on good causes by encouraging staff to give. Encouraging people to give money, raise funds and volunteer can promote teamwork, raise staff morale and make firms more effective.

“At a time when many charities are under financial pressure the work of business is crucial to help meet the ever increasing  demand for charities’ work,

“If those running businesses large and small lead from the front and encourage people to get involved in the causes they care about we can transform support for charities and make industry more effective.”

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