Corporate Giving Expands Global Footprint, CECP Report Finds

As multinationals continue to expand their global presence, they also are investing more in community-based solutions to global issues, a report from CECP finds.

The report, Giving Around the Globe (20 pages, PDF), examined giving data from sixty of the largest multinational corporations headquartered in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and North America and found that they gave a total of $6.8 billion in 2012 in cash and non-cash donations, with median giving of roughly $29 million. The survey also found that companies tended to favor giving in neighboring countries and emerging markets, with India topping the list of countries receiving contributions from the most companies, followed by Canada, China, and Mexico. In terms of dollar amount, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and Germany received the lion's share of corporate giving. When asked what factors drove the geographic expansion of their international giving, 38 percent of respondents said "business/company strategy," while 36 percent said "employee footprint."

The survey also found that North American companies gave roughly equal amounts of direct cash (39 percent), foundation cash (32 percent), and non-cash (29 percent); that European companies gave more in direct cash (64 percent); and that Latin American companies gave more in foundation cash (45 percent) relative to companies in other regions.

"This study confirms what we know to be true: while companies are expanding their global footprint, they are simultaneously shifting their attention to investing in solutions to global community issues," said Daryl Brewster, chief executive of CECP. "They understand that to be global leaders in business, they also have to lead in addressing societal challenges wherever they want to have a presence. They can no longer undertake business in isolation and understand their deep connections to the places where they operate — and the benefits of doing so."