Covid-19 Update: Prism the Gift Fund is fully operational and able to respond to the needs of our clients. If you would like further information on Prism's services and how we can facilitate emergency programmes and other charitable initiatives during this time please contact

12th August 2020

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is on the rise, particularly now in immediate response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The purpose of CSR is to give back to society, contribute to philanthropic causes and have a positive social impact. Corporate philanthropy is an essential component of CSR. It is generally understood to mean the act of a corporation or business promoting the welfare of others, typically through charitable donations of funds or time.

The donation of funds can be in many forms. Corporate philanthropy most commonly consists of direct cash giving, but can also include shares, product donations and gifts in kind. Prism the Gift Fund can provide a full administrative service to corporates looking to donate to charities and not-for-profits in the UK and around the world.

What to keep in mind when engaging in corporate philanthropy?


1. Choosing a cause to support

When deciding to proceed with a form of corporate philanthropy, the first step is deciding on the cause or causes to support. These should reflect the wishes of the whole staff, not just those in senior executive positions. In a survey of 721 companies, 45 percent of respondents answered “personal interests of CEO/board members” to a question about which considerations had the most weight in determining the focus of the corporate philanthropy program. Prism’s latest blog on the benefits of corporate philanthropy outlines the importance of employee engagement in corporate philanthropy. These benefits, including better work performance and attracting top talent, should be motivation to select cause/s that appeal to the broader company.

One way of diversifying your corporate philanthropy is through employee matching grants – this leaves the choice of charity to the individual employee. Another method is by donating employee time, letting the employee decide where they volunteer.

Tip – If you pick a cause aligning with your business activities, employees will have distinct expertise to offer, therefore increasing the impact of the time donation.

Prism the Gift Fund, ‘Prism’ provides a full administrative giving service, so picking multiple causes to support, in the UK or overseas, will not hinder or slow down your corporate giving. Keep reading to learn about the different ways we can support your corporate philanthropy.


2. Due Diligence and Oversight

Companies understandably must prove their corporate philanthropy programs have a positive impact on both shareholder value and social welfare. To ensure corporate philanthropy is set up to have maximum impact, thorough due diligence and oversight are required.

Prism the Gift Fund provides the charitable structure, oversight and expertise while allowing you to have ownership over the grantee selections without the responsibility and liability of creating and running your foundation.

How can Prism the Gift Fund help with Corporate Philanthropy?

Firstly, with a donor advised fund. An ‘Own-Name Foundation’ account under Prism’s auspices. As a UK registered charity, Prism can claim Gift Aid on all eligible donations from donors in the firm’s fund, thereby increasing all donations by 25% to the charity. The company’s fund may then gift out to not-for-profits while Prism ensures full, accurate records of gifting, receipting, and reporting.

Secondly, with a Collective Fund. This giving structure enables multiple donors to support a single cause. This model allows for donors to focus on the cause they are supporting while Prism provides administration, compliance, and governance oversight; removing obstacles involved with setting up a standalone charity. These groups are also able to claim Gift Aid on eligible donations. Learn more about Prism’s current collective fund clients. Including the barrister’s chambers, Matrix Chambers, who has a charitable corporate fund at Prism ‘Matrix Causes Fund’ that has provided support to organisations and projects which promote access to justice, equality of opportunity and a sustainable environment since 2003

Read more about both structures here.

Get in touch today for more information on how Prism can support your corporate philanthropy.