Corporate Giving Slow to Recover as Economy Remains Shaky
Cash donations rose in 2010, but big companies expect a flat year ahead, a Chronicle survey finds
Charitable giving by America’s biggest companies will probably be flat in 2011, after a sharp rebound in 2010, according to a Chronicle on Philanthropy survey of 180 of businesses.
Cash giving rose by 13 percent, a relief to charities after the recession caused a decline of 7.5 percent by companies in 2009.
When companies add the value of product donations to their cash giving, the figures for 2010 look even stronger. Viewed that way, giving rose nearly 20 percent. Seventy-four of the 107 companies from the Fortune 500 that provided projections said they expect this year’s giving to remain about the same as last year’s. Twenty-seven expect total giving to increase, while six expect a decrease.
The Chronicle’s findings reflect how the shaky economy is challenging grant makers, say experts. “It’s kind of a mixed bag right now,” said Mark Shamley, head of the Association of Corporate Contributions Professionals, a trade group in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., that represents company grant makers. “Most companies are just holding steady.” He said he expects it will take at least until 2013 for companies to give as much as they did before the recession took hold at the end of 2007.
Among the other key findings in The Chronicle’s survey:
- Cash donations totaled $4.9-billion last year, up from $4.3-billion in 2009, according to figures provided by 113 companies.
- Wal-Mart’s $319.5-million in cash giving was higher than all other companies in the survey. Wal-Mart is also making a notable commitment in food and other noncash gifts, pledging to provide $1.75-billion over five years to food banks and other organizations that provide groceries to the poor.
- The Goldman Sachs investment bank surged into second place with a 353-percent increase in its giving, to $315.4 million. Other financial companies also posted notable increases as their corporate profits rebounded last year. Citigroup, which needed a government bailout to survive the downturn, rejoined the list of companies giving more than $100-million in cash.
- When ranking companies by the combined total of their cash and products, Pfizer topped the list by giving $3-billion in cash and products, followed by Oracle ($2.3-billion) and Merck ($1.2 -billion).
- Fifty-eight companies increased their overseas giving by 20 percent last year, donating $3.8-billion, compared with $3-billion in 2009.
- More here: http://philanthropy.com/article/Big-Businesses-Won-t/128327/?sid=pt&utm_source=pt&utm_medium=en
How will you respond to upcoming economic projections?