Corporate giving and focus grow

Most corporations throughout the world gave more in 2011 than in 2010, with corporate giving at companies headed toward its levels from before the economy collapsed in 2008, a new survey says.

Corporate giving also has grown more focused over the past three years, companies placed a high priority programs to match employee gifts and engage employees in civic engagement, and international giving grew, spurred by big revenue growth abroad, says the annual Corporate Giving Standard survey by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in association with The Conference Board.

Median corporate giving totaled $24.4 million in 2011, compared to $24.6 million in 2010 and $22.6 million in 2009, says the survey, which uses inflation-adjusted data from 144 companies that provided information for three straight years and gave a total of $15.7 billion in cash and products in 2011.

Total giving since 2009 grew at 60 percent of companies, with 48 percent increasing their giving by over 10 percent.

Giving grew 25 percent each in the consumer-staples and health-care industries, which posted the biggest increases, with direct-cash giving growing a median 18 percent and marking the most widespread form of giving among companies that increased their giving fro 2009 to 2011.

“We are optimistic about the levels of commitment we see from companies,” Charles Moore, executive director of Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, says in a statement. “Not only are they continuing to give, but they also are doing so in more strategic and thoughtful ways in partnership with their employees and their communities.”

Companies surveyed generally focused their giving on a single program area, with many focused on education and on health and social services.

Only 4 percent targeted less than 20 percent of giving in any single program area, with over 31 percent of companies giving 50 percent of more of their giving to a single program area, and 81 percent of companies giving 20 percent or more to either education or to health and social services.

Companies in 2011 continued to target their giving to programs in sync with their business focus, with health-care firms continuing to give mainly to health and science, for example, information-technology companies continuing to give education from kindergarten through 12th grade, and financial companies continuing to give to community and economic development.

In those focused program areas, companies gave bigger grants to a smaller number of organizations than in 2009.

Companies increasingly got involved with causes outside their headquarter countries, mainly through employee-engagement programs and mainly in the for of employee volunteer awards.

And companies that increased their giving since 2009 were more focused on global giving than their counterparts.


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