Giving in Number 2011: An Analysis of Corporate Giving Trends

Companies Report Increased 2010 Contributions, but Show  Divergent Paths since the Economic Downturn in 2007 

CONTACT: Courtney Murphy
[email protected]
Phone: 212.825.2126

New York, NY (October 27, 2011) – Today, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) released Giving in Numbers: 2011 Edition, the CEO membership organization’s seventh annual report on corporate giving trends. Drawing on data from 184 companies, including 63 of the top 100 companies in the Fortune 500, Giving in Numbers represents the first comprehensive look at 2010 corporate giving trends and is the only survey of corporate contributions available
for download at no cost.

“Giving in Numbers provides a transparent view of leading corporations’ behavior and priorities at a time of economic uncertainty and increasing private-sector involvement in addressing today’s pressing societal problems,” said CECP’s Director Margaret Coady.

Alison Rose, Manager, Standards and Measurement at CECP and report author said, “As 2010 was the third in a series of strained and uncertain years, this edition of Giving in Numbers not only presents a profile of corporate philanthropy in 2010, but also seeks to answer the pivotal question: How has corporate giving changed since the onset of the economic downturn?”

Key findings include:

  • Extreme Changes in Giving Since 2007. Since the financial crisis affected the profits of different industries at different times, recovery has not been uniform. CECP identified strikingly divergent paths in corporate contributions since 2007: a quarter of companies increased giving by more than 25%, while 21% reduced contributions by more than 25%, demonstrating that while some companies have been able to surpass pre-crisis giving levels, others are still in a period of rebuilding. In CECP’s four year matched-set of 110 companies, half gave more in 2010 than in 2007. (See page 13 of report) 
  • Comeback of Cash Contributions. Early in the downturn, many corporations pulled back on cash grants (67% reduced cash contributions from 2008 to 2009) and often increased their non-cash donations in the form of product or pro bono service in order to maintain commitments to their nonprofit partners. However, this trend in cash giving reversed from 2009 to 2010, when 61% of companies increased cash contributions. Giving to disaster relief, a rise in matching gift contributions, and better reporting from business units were cited by some companies as reasons for increased levels of cash grants. However, despite year-over-year recovery, cash giving has not fully rebounded from pre-downturn levels: 53% of companies gave less cash in 2010 than they did in 2007, with 42% reducing cash giving by 10% or more. (See pages 15, 17)
  • Increase in Medical Donations. Pharmaceutical companies, with their significant investments in signature initiatives and donations of medicine through Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs), which provide medicine to individuals with no or inadequate insurance, consistently account for approximately three-quarters of total non-cash giving in the CECP sample. Aggregate non-cash contributions have risen by 39% since 2007, primarily driven by these contributions. (See pages 15, 16)
  • Larger, More Targeted Grants. Companies are increasingly targeting one or two societal issues rather than spreading funding widely across multiple program areas. Within a matched set of companies from 2009 to 2010, the percentage of companies reporting at least half of total giving to one program area rose from 24% to 33%. Furthermore, the median number of grants per full time contributions employee declined by 27% since 2007, while the median grant size has increased by 12%. (See pages 22, 37)
  • Prioritizing Basic Needs. Hardship in their communities prompted many companies to support basic health and social service programs in 2010. Education and community and economic development were also cited as program areas receiving considerable targeted funding. (See pages 21, 22)
  • Increased Disaster Aid for Haiti. The several large-scale international disasters of 2010, in particular the Haitian earthquake, prompted many companies to provide above-budget funding for relief and recovery efforts. This was the leading reason cited by corporate contributions professionals for increased cash giving at their company in 2010. Forty companies added a specific disaster-relief employee matching program that had not been offered in 2009. (See pages 15, 22, 25, 26)
  • Employee Engagement. The competition to attract and retain talented employees has encouraged many companies to offer innovative and meaningful employee-volunteer opportunities. Dollars for Doers, employeerecognition awards, flexible scheduling, and paid-release time were programs most frequently offered. In 2010, 89% of companies reported having a formal domestic employee-volunteer program and 52% reported at least one formal international volunteer program. The number of companies offering pro bono service programs, which leverage the core expertise and professional services of employees for the benefit of nonprofit partners, continues to grow each year. (See pages 28, 29)

About Giving in Numbers
CECP’s Giving in Numbers is corporate philanthropy’s premier report focusing on trends in giving and is an invaluable resource for corporate philanthropy professionals to assess the scope of their corporate contributions initiatives.

Giving in Numbers is publicly available for download:

About the Corporate Giving Standard
The data featured in Giving in Numbers is derived from CECP’s unique Corporate Giving Standard (CGS) online benchmarking tool. By completing CECP’s annual philanthropy survey, participating corporate contributions professionals gain access to a customizable, on-demand benchmarking database containing over $85 billion in comparative data since 2001. A respondent listing to the 2010 CGS Survey is available in Giving in Numbers and online:

About CECP
The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP) is the only international forum of business leaders exclusively focused on raising the level and quality of corporate philanthropy. Membership includes more than 180 global CEOs and chairpersons of companies that together account for more than 40% of reported corporate giving in the United States.

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