Nonprofits in the St. Louis area that have relied on gifts from hometown brewer Anheuser-Busch are uncertain how the company's sale to Belgian brewer InBev will affect the company's philanthropy, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
While InBev has pledged to maintain a civic presence in St. Louis, it has given no assurances it will match the $13 million that A-B donated to nonprofits and charities in the region in 2007. For their part, local nonprofit leaders are planning to work hard to show InBev executives how important corporate giving is to the St. Louis community. "Governments in Europe subsidize nonprofits so heavily, there's not much of a culture of philanthropy," said Stephanie DeChambeau, director of institutional giving for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. "It's a big question mark if the new owners will understand [its] importance."
According to Doug King, president of the St. Louis Science Center, buyouts and mergers involving St. Louis-based public companies will continue to occur, and the city and its nonprofits must roll with the punches. "InBev has tried to reassure us they are going to be a good corporate citizen," he said. "We should give them the opportunity to do so."