Corporate Charitable Contributions Continue to Rise
Oct. 13, 2004 (SmartPros) Despite a less than stellar employment situation and the war in Iraq, total U.S. contributions to worthy causes have increased by 24 percent among the country's largest corporations and foundations, The Conference Board reports in its annual survey of corporate giving to worthy causes.*
Among the 232 survey participants, 58 percent (134 companies and corporate foundations) participated in both the 2002 and 2003 editions of the study. These matched cases, representing 65 percent and 58 percent of the survey participants in 2002 and 2003, provide the most accurate analysis of year-to-year trends in U.S. giving.
In the matched sample, total U.S. giving among companies and corporate foundations rose from approximately $3.13 billion in 2002 to $3.88 billion in 2003, representing a growth of 24 percent. Median matched-case U.S. contributions amounted to $7.4 million, compared to $6.6 million in 2002, an increase of 12.88 percent. Average U.S. giving among these matched cases increased by 24 percent from $23.35 million in 2002 to $28.97 million in 2003.
The 24 percent increase in 2003 total U.S. giving by corporations in the matched-case sample surveyed by The Conference Board surpasses the reported 4.2 percent (1.9 percent adjusted for inflation) increase for all U.S. companies from 2002 to 2003.
In addition, total U.S. giving from 232 of the largest U.S. companies and U.S. corporate foundations surveyed by The Conference Board amounted to $5.73 billion in 2003. This represents 42.5 percent of the overall estimated $13.46 billion in corporate charitable giving in the U.S. in 2003.
Corporate U.S. giving ranged from a low of $50,000 to a high of $568 million, with median U.S. contributions at $4.6 million compared to $4.7 million in 2002, a decline of 1.3 percent.
"The pharmaceutical industry has emerged as the largest industry giver in the U.S., with eight pharmaceutical companies being responsible for a third of the $5.7 billion in 2003 giving tracked by The Conference Board," says Sophia A. Muirhead, Senior Research Associate at The Conference Board and author of the report. "This is a clear manifestation of the industry’s corporate citizenship commitment to support causes related to health and human services."
For the first time, The Conference Board's 2003 edition of the corporate contributions report includes figures among the matched-case sample for international giving. Fifty-five matched cases, representing 67 percent and 55 percent of the survey participants reporting international contributions in 2002 and 2003, respectively, provide the most accurate analysis of year-to-year trends in U.S. international giving.
The matched cases indicate that international corporate giving among the largest U.S. contributions is on the rise. Their total giving increased by 13.82 percent from 2002 to 2003. Average giving among these matched cases increased from $8.96 million in 2002 to $10.2 million in 2003. Among these matched cases, median contributions increased 256.55 percent, from $1.34 million in 2002 to $4.76 million in 2003. Most of the international budget ($1.11 billion) consisted of non-cash donations (56 percent) from headquarters.
Among industries, pharmaceuticals also donated the largest share of international contributions. Other top-donor industries include computers and technology; food, beverage, and tobacco; and transportation equipment.
In keeping with historical trends, the majority of contributions made by pharmaceutical companies consisted of non-cash donations.
Among companies and corporate foundations that provided budget projections for 2004, we anticipate that companies with budgets in excess of $50 million will increase their U.S. non-cash contributions by 3 percent and their international cash contributions by 2 percent. All other cash and non-cash budgets generally are expected to stabilize from 2003 to 2004.
* The Conference Board's 2003 survey of corporate contributions was conducted via e-mail and mail between February and June 2004. The study compared 134 corporations and foundations between 2002 and 2003.2004 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.