Editor’s Note: As earnings in most sectors are at all-time highs, and with corporate debt at all-time lows, you would think that more corporations would invest some of the windfall back into their communities and customers. Apparently, most of their giving now goes to political candidates.
Walmart, Banks, Energy Sector Gave Most
With the recent annual Giving USA Foundation report revealing a decline in corporate giving last year, it’s time for Corporate America to dig deeper.
Of four sources of giving that were assessed – individuals, foundations, bequests and corporations – every kind of giving rose in 2013 except for corporate giving. The increase in individual giving is leading the charge to create a fourth straight year of growth in total giving, comprising 72 percent of all giving, and representing the largest portion and fastest growing area of giving.
How is it possible that in the same year that individual giving is booming, corporate giving is down nearly 2 percent? Sure, volunteering has evolved into a central component of corporate employee engagement programs, and thus volunteer programs are increasingly becoming a must-have perk for employees. But giving is still critical for nonprofits and as an important way to engage employees in your overall volunteering and philanthropy program.
When you ask employees to give back to the community, and support them in the process through tools such as matching gifts, volunteer grants, automatic payroll deductions, and company-wide campaigns like those for disaster relief or crowd-funding, you’re empowering your staff to take a bigger role in changing the world. And you’re inviting them to step up in ways that make them feel more involved and inspired.
Despite the grim numbers from the Giving USA report, some corners of Corporate America are bucking the trend and putting their money where their mouth is.
Who are these companies, and how are they giving back? Double the Donation, an organization that helps nonprofit organizations and schools increase fundraising from corporate matching gift and employee volunteer grant programs, just made this an easy question to visualize. The company put together the helpful graphic below, which illustrates the top ten companies that donated the most cash through corporate giving programs in 2013, as documented by the Chronicle of Philanthropy.