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Second annual survey shows strong partnerships and $373 million in charitable contributions by British Columbia’s business community

Vancouver, BC (December 4, 2014) - Today, the Business Council of British Columbia released the second annual study quantifying the charitable contributions made by the province’s business community, conducted by MNP LLP.  The report, Prosperous Companies, Prosperous Communities found that in 2013 British Columbia businesses donated $373 million in cash donations, sponsorships and partnerships to the province’s charities with the top types of charities supported being social services, health, education and environment.

“For the second year in a row, the report findings demonstrate how businesses of all sizes play an active and committed role in supporting the communities where they live and operate,” says Mackenzie Kyle, MNP’s Managing Partner for Vancouver & BC Advisory Services.  “This year’s report found that of the $373 million in contributions, $302 million were cash donations with $71 million contributed through partnerships and sponsorships.”

For 2013, there was a shift to increased partnership agreements valued at $34 million, compared to $18 million the previous year; this contributed to an overall increase in contributions despite a 4% decrease in cash donations.  Partnership agreements often provide charities with support through goods and services and create more opportunities for the business and their employees to become personally engaged in the charity’s activities.  The total business contributions for 2013 was $3 million higher than 2012 when taking into consideration cash donations, partnerships and sponsorships.

“Companies across the province of all sizes engage in meaningful contributions and relationships with the non-profit organizations in their communities,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia. “More than 50% of the MNP survey respondents have programs to support employee volunteer activity which resulted in an average of 11 volunteer hours per employee.  Volunteer support is essential to the success of charitable organizations and not only result in stronger programming, but can also provide the expertise to contribute to increased fundraising efforts and improved operations and governance for the charity.”

“British Columbia’s charities and non-profit sector benefit when businesses are successful and in a position to support their local communities,” said D’Avignon.  “While the number one factor influencing a company’s decision to make a charitable contribution was their sense of corporate social responsibility with 96% of companies noting this as very or somewhat important, 57% of companies noted that their organization’s profitability was also a somewhat or very important factor.”

The second annual report surveyed a sample of businesses to determine the extent to which charitable giving has changed compared to the previous year. 

These findings were used to estimate the overall change in charitable contributions by BC businesses. 

The report also looked at trends in charitable contributions and the profile of both businesses and charities in British Columbia. 

The report includes case studies which reviewed the charitable practices of three companies in British Columbia.  

Case studies included in the report were:

  • Encana who over the past 10 year has donated over $15 million to initiatives that support BC communities including the Be More than a Bystander campaign with the Ending Violence Association of BC aimed at enabling people to speak up about violence against women in British Columbia. 
  • Quality Foods, a grocery store chain based on Vancouver Island, contributes sponsorship, volunteering and non-cash contributions to 30-40 events per year.  As part of their programming, they offer for auction a 3-hour boat tour on the original S.S. Minnow from Gilligan’s Island which raised $15,000 for the Nanaimo and District Hospital Foundation at an auction in March 2014.
  • The Prince Rupert Port Authority contributes 1-5% of its annual net income to the Community Investment Fund which the Port established in 2010 to support broad community based projects, initiatives and events in Prince Rupert.  Since its inception, the program has disbursed nearly $3.5 million in donations and sponsorships which has enabled the leverage of an additional $8.7 million for community legacy projects. 

Download the full report here

MNP is one of the fastest growing accounting and business advisory firms in Canada.  Founded in 1945, MNP has grown from a single office in Manitoba to more than 80 offices and  3000 team members across Canada.  In British Columbia, MNP has more than 500 staff located in 16 offices across the province.  MNP’s Research and Economics team provides analysis and research services on a range of economic and statistical applications.  Their work helps clients with decision-making, communications of economic and financial contributions, documentation of the value of initiatives and development of public policy.

The Business Council, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2016 is the premier business organization in BC.  The organization is made up of more than 250 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and organizations from across BC’s diverse economy which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the province.  The Council produces timely and exceptional public-policy research and advice on issues to enhance BC’s competitiveness and prosperity.  As a collaborative, non-partisan organization, the Council strives to be a venue where members, policy experts, elected officials and government decision makers can address problems and form solutions together. 

For more information, contact:

Greg D'Avignon
President and Chief Executive Officer, BCBC

Lesley Cook
Sr. Marketing Manager, Vancouver Region, MNP