Companies are giving more in-kind support to charities, according to a new book published by the Directory of Social Change.
The latest edition of The Guide to UK Company Giving surveyed how much the top 600 companies in the UK said they gave to charity.
The survey found the companies valued their donations at about £762m in 2009/10, including £512m in cash. The average given as a percentage of pre-tax profits was 0.43 per cent.
Denise Lillya, senior researcher at DSC and author of the book, said this figure had stayed at a similar level over the past decade. But she said that comparisons with last year's figures were not possible because of the methodology.
In its analysis, the DSC found that even though companies were being more proactive in their giving, the trend was towards more in-kind giving rather than cash.
It said this could lead to companies giving forms of assistance, such as volunteering, that could impose a burden on a charity's resources.
"In these days of cuts in the statutory sector, when cash can make the biggest difference to small and medium-sized charities, companies should be asking what support charities can make the best use of," a DSC statement said.
Lillya added that many more charities were turning to private companies for fundraising, creating increased competition.
"The key when approaching companies is to produce more effective applications, whether for in-kind or cash support, to tailor requests by taking into account the nature of a company's business, its ethics, its community involvement policy, if available, and what a company wants or might reasonably be persuaded to give," she said.