CSRwire - Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire

In a turbulent year, a majority of companies reduce giving


The tumultuous economic climate of 2009 was mirrored in the results of CECP's 2009 corporate giving data, based on the annual Corporate Giving Standard(1) survey results. Over 165 companies participated in the survey, combining to report a total of $12.1 billion in cash and product giving. To more accurately report on year-over-year trends, CECP narrowed the analysis to a matched-set of 95 companies which responded to the survey in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. These matched-set companies account for over 80% of total giving in CECP's survey and nearly half are Fortune 100 companies. Preliminary findings show that median total giving declined to its lowest point while aggregate total giving rose by 7%, with wide fluctuations of noncash donations accompanying a decline in corporate and foundation cash contributions. Alison Rose, Research Specialist at CECP, says, 'The most surprising part of the 2009 findings was the unexpected pairings of results such as the overall increase in giving alongside a majority of companies contributing less. Such findings reinforce CECP's steadfast belief in analyzing the corporate giving story on a company-level to uncover the influencing factors.' Overall, 60% of the matched-set companies gave less than in 2008, with 40% declining by over 10%. Representative of this trend, median total giving fell from a high of $32.91 million in 2007 to a median of $26.30 million in 2009. Foundation and corporate cash contributions also reached their lowest point in four years. One of the most-cited reasons for decreased giving was mandated company-wide spending restrictions due to economic pressures. Other reasons include the conclusion of multi-year funding commitments, a decrease in matching gifts due to staff reductions, and a decline in foundation endowments and in corporate transfers to foundations. Still, 40% of the companies in the CECP matched-set gave more in 2009 than they did in 2008, some of which increased their giving so significantly that the aggregate of total giving rose to $9.93 billion. This aligns with the results released today by Giving USA, which found that corporate giving rose by 5.9%, to within 1% of its pre-recession level. In the CECP sample, this shift was a direct result of dramatic increases by a handful of companies, driven by increased non-cash contributions from pharmaceutical companies, along with expanded giving budgets resulting from corporate mergers and acquisitions. Other cited reasons for greater contributions include additional funding to support programs serving greatest needs, increased participation in matching gift programs and raised limits for the match, improved tracking of contributions, and combined giving budgets due to mergers and acquisitions. More detail on these findings can be found online at: http://www.corporatephilanthropy.org. (1) About the Corporate Giving Standard (CGS) The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy's Corporate Giving Standard (CGS) is an online philanthropy measurement and benchmarking tool for participating companies. All figures referenced are inflation-adjusted and based on a matched-set of 95 companies responding to the CGS survey in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. This matched-set of companies combined to give a total of $9.93 billion in cash and product giving. The Committee will post its annual data analysis report, Giving in Numbers, 2010 Edition, for free download in summer 2010 at http://www.corporatephilanthropy.org/benchmarking.html.

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