Corporate Giving Up in 2011, Survey Finds

A majority of corporations worldwide boosted their giving in 2011, a new survey by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy in association with the Conference Board finds.

According to the annual Corporate Giving Standard (CGS) survey, 144 companies responding to the survey in each of the last three years gave a combined total of $15.7 billion in cash and products in 2011. The survey also found that while total corporate giving has not returned to pre-recession levels, with median total giving down slightly from $24.6 million in 2010 to $24.4 million, 48 percent of the 214 companies that responded to the survey increased their giving by more than 10 percent.

Among companies that increased their giving from 2009 to 2011, direct cash was the most prevalent form of giving, with a median increase of 18 percent. The survey also found that corporate givers continued to tighten their focus, with more than 31 percent of companies dedicating 50 percent or more of their giving to one program area; that employee matching-gift and engagement programs were high priorities; and that companies whose giving has increased since 2009 were likely to be more focused on international giving than their counterparts.

This year's CGS, the first CECP has conducted in association with the Conference Board, generated the greatest number of responses since CECP launched the survey in 2001.

"We are optimistic about the levels of commitment we see from companies," said CECP executive director Charles Moore. "Not only are they continuing to give, but they area also doing so in more strategic and thoughtful ways in partnership with their employees and their communities."