A quick guide to corporate giving in Australia

A quick guide to corporate giving in Australia
Written by
Matias Salinas

According to a new report by JBWere, philanthropic support by corporates surged in 2020. While it was expected this trend would slow down after the Black Summer bushfires, instead corporate giving increased again as COVID & even more natural disasters required community support.

In response to this finding, Senior Research Consultant from JBWere, John McLeod said “I take this as being part of this long-term trend of corporates understanding what their role is within the broader society, wanting to contribute to that and seeing benefits from it themselves”.

In response to this growing trend, savvy businesses are reevaluating their corporate social responsibility initiatives to show accountability to both shareholders and the public. 

With that in mind, lets look at some ways companies can can start increasing their charitable efforts through corporate giving, improving society and the environment in the process.

Corporate social responsibility versus corporate giving in Australia

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is quite common in Australia. Many companies took a pledge to care for their communities through CSR. Some choose to improve their labor practices, source their products from ethically conscious suppliers, or engage with charities a couple of times a year.

Simply defined, corporate social responsibility is where a company puts measures to adopt business models that are socially accountable to the people they serve (their customers). Companies need to be conscious of the effects of their business in all spheres of society. This includes their impact on the economy, environment, and even social life.  

On the other hand, corporate giving lets businesses take a more active and direct approach in giving back to their communities. An organization can offer resources such as equipment, cash, or employee time to worthy causes. In Little Phil’s case, our platform empowers employees to decide where their company donates it’s time and money.

Communities benefit by having a predictable revenue stream for charities and they also get access to resources that may be difficult to otherwise obtain. Like a company offering its gym to a local football team that doesn’t have access to suitable equipment. Companies get to showcase their values and improve the lives of people in their community at the same time!

Why corporate giving pays off

There are many corporate giving initiatives that a company can adopt to positively impact its culture, values and bottom line. They can offer pro bono services, sponsor causes, give gifts, donate time or simply give money. They can also choose to match employee donations or give up some of their working time for other causes. But what are some of the motivations for corporate giving?

Of course, businesses need intrinsic motivation to have active corporate philanthropy or giving programs, otherwise they wouldn’t be as popular. So here are some things you stand to gain with a strategic corporate social responsibility plan.

  • Sales increase - More than 78% of your employees would love to join some form of corporate social responsibility initiative. And this should be great news for you. Corporate giving programs improve employee engagement and retention, which results in an increase in productivity and more profits for you.
  • Boost your brand awareness - Everyone wants to associate with a company conscious of their impact on the environment, social life, and even the economy of their communities. Corporate giving puts you in good light with customers, suppliers, clients, employees, and other stakeholders.
  • Recruit and retain top talent - Top-performing employees now demand that their employer's balance society and their profits. They measure the success of their careers with several things, including the impact of their organization on society. This is why corporate philanthropy can go a long way in attracting and recruiting top talent. With Company Giving on Little Phil, this impact is tracked, measured and publically available for transparency with stakeholders and potential employees. 
  • Tax deductions - Increasing sales or recruiting top talent may take some time, but you can realize some tax savings instantly through corporate giving. Companies don’t need to give just so that they can pay less taxes. But it sure helps!

Companies leading the way in corporate giving

Australia is lucky to have some world-leading companies at the forefront of corporate giving as demonstrated by the list below:

ThankYou Group

The emergence of ThankYou Group as a titan in corporate giving was quite a surprise. The company was formed in 2008 as a social enterprise and is popular for its water, body care, and food products. But it wasn’t until the coronavirus pandemic that there was a surge in demand for their products.

ThankYou Group made donations of more than $10 million to assist in poverty eradication. The company choose to donate all its profits to charity, which saw it become one of Australia’s top 50 corporate philanthropists for the first time. In the previous year, its donations were about $677,000.


Atlassian is a software company that has been in operation since 2002. It owns the Atlassian Foundation that has given more than $13.4 million in donations to several education causes in 2021.

The company’s decision to commit 1% of staff time, 1% of yearly profits, and 1% of company equity have paid off. Atlassian seeks to increase their corporate giving up to $20 million, which will put them with the likes of Deloitte.


Another company with a massive impact on corporate giving is Accenture. The company has made strides with its pro bono and workplace volunteering programs. By 2020, the company achieved its 50% employee participation goal and logged more than 9,000 hours of pro bono work.

The company works with more than 150 charitable organizations in Australia. For example, they helped more than 200 volunteers respond to the increasing bushfires. Accenture uses technology to help people volunteer and support the community virtually during this coronavirus pandemic.

Final thoughts: 

Your company stands to gain a lot by starting a corporate giving initiative. It’s a great way to bring employees together for worthy causes while at the same time helping strenghten your brand values and rapport. Consequently, their productivity will shoot through the roof, and you will have a great working environment. 

If a corporate giving initiative that empowers employees while boosting your brands social impact is something you’d like to learn more about, head to our For Companies pages and register your interest in Company Giving.

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