Almost everywhere you go, you can find evidence of corporate charitable giving. On the bricks carved with a company’s name on the exterior of a popular museum to the plaques hanging in most children’s hospitals, it’s evident that businesses are giving their time and money to organizations that desperately need it.
But just because you see evidence of corporate charitable giving, does it mean that there is an abundance of it?
At first glance it appears that corporate donations have grown significantly. For example, in the last 30 years corporate contributions have increased from $3.6 billion to more than $18 billion in 2012. This is an impressive statistic, right?
Perhaps not. According to “Giving USA’s 2013 Annual Report on Philanthropy”, approximately 72% ($223 billion) of all charitable giving was done by individuals and families, while corporate giving accounted for only 6% ($17.6 billion). Another statistic considered a good barometer for measuring corporate charitable giving is percentage of pre-tax profits donated. It’s here you really begin to see the drop in the numbers. In 2012, corporate donations measured by pre-tax profit percentages fell to a lowly .8% from its peak of 2.1% in 1986. In the last ten years alone contributions have dropped by half.
While the pre-tax profit percentage statistic is staggering, there are indications that corporate charitable giving is on the rise. The improving U.S. economy, a strengthening job market, and the emphasis many businesses have been putting into company culture have been encouraging. As a result, in 2012 corporate contributions increased 12% from the 2011 totals.
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