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Companies align giving with business goals

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Over the past five years, companies have been working to align their corporate giving programs with their overall business goals, a new study says.

Almost half the companies surveyed by The Conference Board say such alignment is the biggest change in their corporate giving programs over the last five years.

The study, “Philanthropy and Business: The Changing Agenda,” is based on an analysis of the corporate giving activities of 77 multinational companies.

Two in three companies surveyed say volunteerism will grow in importance as a management priority, the study says, and one in three say their biggest challenge in the coming year will measuring outcomes of their giving efforts.

More than four in 10 say diversity will be the highest-priority program area this year.

Within the diversity area, almost a quarter of respondents say Latino programs will be more important, while 17 percent cite African-American groups.

Four in 10 businesses say they determine the geography of their international corporate giving based on countries in which their employees work, while three in 10 say humanitarian need is the driver. and one in four cite opportunities for business growth.

Companies surveyed say Asia and India are becoming more important as recipients of corporate gifts, the study says, while Latin America, the Caribbean and the Middle East are less important.

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