The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy released the “Giving In Numbers” report highlighting current trends in corporate philanthropy.
Among the findings:
- 60% of surveyed corporations gave less in 2009 than they did in 2008. Interestingly, the percentage of corporations that decreased giving the 2008, in the first big philanthropy hit of the financial crisis, was lower (46%);
- Total giving by corporations increased 7%, which seems contradictory given the number of corporations that decreased their giving, but is accounted for by significant increases in pharmaceutical company donations (including large amounts of in-kind medicine donations) and increased company giving as a result of mergers and acquisitions;
- A key point - and something that differentiates corporate giving (as a whole) from other types of institutional giving (as a whole) is the amount of non-foundation giving. Corporate giving numbers include in-kind donations (frequenly product donations), matching gifts (from employee donations), company giving, and foundation giving. There has been increasing talk about strategic alignment of corporate philanthropy (and corporate social responsibility) programs, which helps explain why product/in-kind donations may not always fall as quickly as cash donations, even in bad economic times;
- That said, corporate foundation cash giving was the most stable giving source (i.e., fluctuated the least) of the different giving sources examined in the survey.
The report indicates corporations' dedication to continuing to support their communities, particularly in difficult economic times, which I find encouraging, particularly if those corporations are finding strategic alignments for their philanthropy -- making philanthropy not an afterthought, or something good to do, but something that is a necessary part of the way they do business.
Nonprofits seeking donations from corporations should take away a few key points -- that they should not necessarily rely on continued corporation support, that they should focus on aligning their proposals with corporations' strategic objectives, and that they should find the companies in their communities that are committed to serving the type of organization that is looking for funding. In addition, grantseekers should think about what non-cash benefits and relationships they might be able to form on an ongoing basis with companies in their communities.
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