Members of the Co-operative Group have agreed to donate more than £3m of their annual profit-share to charities and community groups.

Over two million members receiving a payment this week have elected to give all or part of their share of profits to charity, meaning that £3.2m will be distributed amongst local community groups across the UK.

Last year, the group’s 5.8 million members earned a record total of £70.5m, up from £50.4m the previous year. Members receive a cash payment based on the points they earn when they trade at any of the group’s businesses, which include: The Co-operative Food; Travel; Pharmacy, Funeralcare, Legal and Online Electrical as well as The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance.

Based on the group’s profits, the value of each point earned during 2010 is 2p. The payments will be paid in the form of vouchers or into a bank account.

The Co-operative Group chief executive Peter Marks said: “It is only right that our members, who ultimately own and control the business, share in our success and thanks to their generosity we will make a real difference to many charities and local groups that are doing such great work in the thousands of communities we and they serve.”