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Drawing a framework from stakeholder theory, this study uses 1994 data drawn from 100 United Kingdom listed companies to test empirically whether the level of discretionary donations made by companies to charitable, social and political causes is related to four company-specific factors, namely leverage, company size, profitability and ownership structure. Consistent with our hypotheses, the results indicate that the decision to contribute funds to charities and other bodies is positively related to company size and profitability and negatively related to leverage. However, the study provides no support for the view that there is a link between discretionary donations and a company's ownership structure.