As the large charities transform into either fundraising businesses or else sub-contractors to government, the private sector looks at them and decides they don't like what they see:
The respondents - all staff with corporate social responsibility budgets - were asked: "Do you think it would be more effective for businesses to use their core strengths to deliver social change or for them to give donations to charities to deliver social change?"
Fifty said they thought it would be much more effective for businesses to do it themselves and 35 thought this was "somewhat" true. Forty-four said charity donations and businesses could do an equally good job of effecting social change.
And in this survey just five respondents thought charity better able to deliver social change than private business. This doesn't mean that business is less charitable - far from it. But it suggests that business people believe greater social value is gained by doing the good works yourself rather than vicariously through a distant, shinily-branded national charity.
This finding presents a real challenge for fund-raisers - rather than the "dinner-and-quiet-word-from-the-chairman" method that dominated for years, we now have to get inside the strategic objectives of the firm. To ask that business - its employees, its customers, its shareholders - what social change they seek to effect and how the charity can help to make that happen.