Family firms 'more loyal in their giving'

Owners want donations to have lasting imapct, research finds

Beth Breeze, author of the paper
Beth Breeze, author of the paper

Family-run businesses are more likely to maintain their corporate giving through the recession than other firms, according to new research.

Philanthropy: Family Business Philanthropy and Social Responsibility Inquiry, commissioned by the Institute for Family Business and the Community Foundation Network, says family businesses see their charitable support as important interaction with local communities rather than compulsory corporate social responsibility.

The research shows that family-run businesses usually want to give back to the areas where they are based.

Owners tend to develop longer-term relationships with charities and want to create a lasting impact, says the report. However, the study also says charities might find it difficult to gain access to the decision-making processes of family businesses.

Thirty family-run businesses, including firms such as Timpsons and Clarks, took part in the study in five English and Scottish cities between February and March. The results were then compared with previous surveys of corporate giving.

Beth Breeze, author of the paper, said the findings should encourage local charities and small organisations to approach large firms. "If there is a big business based in your back yard, it is worth a try," she said.

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