BT 'still committed' to corporate social responsibility

Its decision to close the commission-free MyDonate fundraising platform has sparked fears that it will cut down on its CSR activity

(Photograph: Getty Images)
(Photograph: Getty Images)

BT has insisted that it is committed to corporate social responsibility despite the closure of its MyDonate fundraising platform.

The company said on Monday that it would be shutting MyDonate on 30 June, having provided the platform since 2011 on a not-for-profit basis as part of its CSR work.

The move sparked disappointment, particularly among smaller charities, which appreciated its commission-free model. The move gave rise to speculation that the company, which has spent hundreds of millions of pounds in recent years securing the rights to screen major sporting events, including the Champions League, was cutting back on its CSR activity.

But a BT spokeswoman told Third Sector the company was committed to CSR and had not made the decision to close MyDonate because of money or costs.

The company recently told investors that it had committed to again spend 1 per cent of its profit before tax on CSR activities, the majority of which would be focused on investment in improving digital skills in the UK, it is understood. BT spent £35m in this area last year.

In a statement made earlier this week BT said that since MyDonate was launched in 2011 a number of other fundraising platforms and services had been established, making its own site less relevant.

It is understood that when the company was thinking about where it could have the most impact in communities, it found that many people were struggling with digital skills, spurring the decision to close MyDonate and instead go all out in this area.

BT’s work will include continuing its Barefoot Computing programme, which was set up in 2014 to provide free teaching resources on computer science to UK primary school teachers.

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