Reduced business spending on charities 'inevitable'

A senior figure at Business in the Community has said it is inevitable that businesses will reduce their spending on charities during the economic downturn.

Catherine Sermon, director of community at BITC, said the slowdown could also lead to changes in the nature of corporate-charity partnerships.

Speaking in advance of a BITC conference tomorrow, which will explore the place of community investment in the current economic climate, she said: "Companies will inevitably have to cut investment.

"A greater social need means increased responsibility for both charities and companies. They should consider the long-term donor/benefactor partnership and work out a clear idea of what they want to achieve, rather than working on a project-to-project basis."

Sermon said those companies brave enough to buck the trend could reap benefits. "We believe companies can add value to their business during a period of economic instability by continuing to be involved in community issues, from schools to charities," she said.

"Ultimately, economic downturn will become a societal filter for projects that aren't working, making room for more valuable ones."

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