Playing catch-up – Companies can do more

By Ann Claycombe

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Triangle-area companies should be more philanthropic, a top corporate official says.

“We in the Triangle are woefully behind other areas of our state in corporate giving,” W. Ben Waters, vice president for administration at Capitol Broadcasting Co. Inc. told a recent meeting of the Triangle chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.

Per-capita corporate giving in the Triangle totals 60 cents, compared to 86 cents in Durham, $3.50 in Charlotte and $4.25 in Winston-Salem, said Waters, who also heads the annual fundraising campaign for United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County

The Triangle also lags in individual giving, he said. Per-capita individual giving totals 57 cents in Raleigh and Durham, compared to $5.37 in Charlotte.

“I don’t think we should be as far behind Charlotte as we are,” Waters said.

A major initiative to boost local giving is the Catalyst Project of the Triangle Community Foundation, Waters said.

The 5-year project aims to triple the region’s permanent philanthropic assets to $3 billion.

Jim Goodmon, president of Capitol Broadcasting, is meeting with chief executive officers of local companies to help boost the effort, Waters said.

Waters said the growth of out-of-state companies to the Triangle has affected local fundraising efforts because most new business leaders have are not from the region.

He suggested that nonprofits should recruit board members from new companies, and encourage them to get their companies involved.  Another strategy is to pursue stock gifts because many new companies have more stock than cash available for donations, he said.

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