Corporate Societal Engagement Increases Internationally, Study Finds

Corporate societal engagement has increased in Africa and Asia, as has high-level corporate societal investment in Europe, a study from CECP finds.

The report, Giving Around the Globe (20 pages, PDF), includes an analysis of data from more than a hundred and twenty large corporations in twenty countries and benchmarks of global corporate engagement activities in multiple regions around the world. According to the report, while societal engagement is on the rise globally, it remains unevenly distributed. For example, while 81 percent of European countries and 65 percent of Asian companies made contributions to charitable causes in 2015, the rate was only 38 percent in Latin America and 25 percent in South Africa. The report attributes the difference in engagement levels to a number of external factors, including regional economic and political instability, the size of companies' overseas footprint, the level of a government's responsibility for social welfare, and cultural practices.

According to the report, pro bono services were the most commonly offered domestic volunteer program in Asia, with several large corporations offering skills-based volunteering opportunities for their employees, while 81 percent of European companies gave internationally and corporations in Latin America had the lowest level of corporate matching programs (38 percent). 

"Leaders in corporate societal engagement programs are asked to strategize globally, regardless of where they are based," said Carmen Perez, director of data insights for CECP. "Giving Around the Globe offers data-backed insights and implications that give CSR teams a clear perspective on the state of global community investment. This knowledge will help translate global strategic goals to a regional and local level and, ultimately, make a stronger impact."