19 Jul 2023

Nationwide raises charity donations by more than a third to £9.6 million as many struggle

  • Nationwide donates over £9.6 million to charity - up by more than a third from previous year  
  • Increased donations come at a time charities need it most due to pressure on household finances 
  • Social Impact report demonstrates Britain’s biggest building society’s commitment to good causes 

Nationwide Building Society has announced increased charity donations of £9.6 million at a time when many households in Britain continue to struggle due to the cost-of-living crisis. 

The Society’s Social Impact report reveals the full extent of its donations – which are up by more than a third compared to 2021/22 (£7.1m). Since 2007, Nationwide has donated one per cent of its pre-tax profit to good causes.  

The report highlights Nationwide’s charitable giving and support for local communities across the country. It comes in the wake of Nationwide’s support for the High Street through its promise to not leave any town or city in which it currently has a branch.  

Nationwide’s donations have been allocated to a range of causes up and down the country, with around half – c.£4.3 million – going in the form of grants to 96 community projects chosen by Nationwide members. The core theme of these grants is housing: keeping a roof over people’s heads, helping people into homes and improving living standards. Examples include:  

  • Simon Community NI’s Women’s Advocacy Project: helps Northern Irish women struggling with their housing. 
  • SSAFA’s Glasgow Helping Heroes: tackles veteran homelessness in Glasgow. 
  • IMPAKT Housing: takes on food insecurity in Bedford with a free to use Community Larder. 
  • Bristol Law Centre: provides free advice and social welfare casework to Bristolians. 

The remaining c.£5 million of donations has gone towards longstanding partnerships committed to supporting those who need it most. This includes:  

  •  Shelter: Nationwide’s £1.2 million funding has helped more than 31,000 people impacted by the housing crisis. This includes through their emergency helpline, which is open 365 days a year. 
  • St. Mungo’s: funding for their Digital Recovery College, which helps people recovering from homelessness, and HomelessWise, which shows people ways to practically help those sleeping on the streets. 
  • The Nationwide Foundation: funds projects to improve the housing system, back community led housing, and transform the private rented sector for the better of all. 
  • Colleague Grants: in the past year Nationwide has donated over £580,000 to charities that employees of the Society volunteer with.  
  • Charities and debt organisations (including StepChange, PayPlan, and the Money Advice Trust): these charities help people deal with debt problems by offering free expert advice and ways to manage money. 

Nationwide employees receive up to two days’ paid volunteering leave every year. Over the past year, over 13,500 volunteering hours have been donated. The Society’s colleagues and customers have also raised £865,000 for the Ukraine, Pakistan, and Turkey & Syria British Red Cross Appeals. The report is available for download from the Nationwide media centre. 

Lou Prior, Director of Customer Propositions at Nationwide Building Society, said: “As a mutual with a major high street presence, we have long recognised the need to support the communities we serve. It is vital that socially conscious businesses step in to fill the shortfall in donations at a time many households are feeling the pinch. The fact is that charity has never been more needed, and we are proud to support our communities.” 

Andy Harris, Director of Income Generation at Shelter said: “Homelessness is devastating and no-one should face it alone. Our emergency helpline supports people who are homeless or about to be. We’re grateful to Nationwide who have helped us to pick up more than 6,000 calls to our emergency helpline in the last year for free and expert help.” 

Notes to editors

Regional case studies are available on request, covering South Midlands, South West, central Scotland, Northern Ireland, South Wales, and London.