How We Do Business

Charity and community funding

We’re only as strong as communities in which we trade. So it makes good sense to be a fair partner by supporting local communities. We support a wide range of community activities.

Business in the Community

In 1982, M&S were founding members of Business in the Community- set up to promote investment in regenerating local communities. In 2008 we were one of the first companies to be awarded the Community Mark. This was renewed in 2011.

Donations of products and equipment

We donate unsold clothing, food and unwanted equipment to a range of charity partners including Shelter, Oxfam, Newlife Foundation and FareShare.

National fundraising partners

We help raise funds for a range of national charity partners covering environment, poverty and exclusion and health & wellbeing through a calendar of activities. These currently include: Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Butterfly Conservation, Groundwork, Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Keatung Foundation, Oxfam,  Prostate Cancer UK, Shelter and WWF. We select these partners to fit with our business. We select the recipients of funds raised from our charitable Christmas cards from these existing partners.

Local charities

We support a large number of local charities through an annual Charity Challenge fundraising event as well as store charity budgets. Store charity budgets can provide small (up to £50) donations to local charities including schools and hospitals that are within our policy.

Stores are not able to support:

  • personal appeals on behalf of individual people, including overseas trips;
  • advertising or goodwill messages;
  • political parties;
  • third party fundraising on behalf of a charity;
  • religious bodies, except where the project provides non-denominational, non-sectarian support for the benefit of the general project; and
  • supplying clothing, other than in exceptional circumstances, as we already donate clothes to Newlife and Shelter.

Marks & Start

Launched in 2004, Marks & Start, provides work experience opportunities for disadvantaged parts of society.

Supporting employees

We encourage our employees to become involved in their local communities. We provide one day’s paid time off for volunteering, matching funds for fundraising groups (of five or more), employee volunteer awards and payroll giving facilities. 

Major disasters

Before we make any commitment to supporting a major disaster, we consider the real needs, the requests from our customers and employees and whether the disaster has occurred in a region of the world where we have strong links either through our stores, offices or suppliers. We decide what we will do for each major disaster on an individual basis.

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