Corporate donations rise

American corporations and their affiliated foundations together donated $9.8 billion to charitable causes in 2005, a new study says.

The annual survey of corporate giving, released by The Conference Board, surveyed 211 corporations and corporate foundations that together awarded almost three-quarters of the estimated $13.77 billion donated by the sector.

Giving by a subset of the companies analyzed grew 18 percent from 2004 to 2005, the study says, while median giving by the same group was up 8 percent to $12.5 million from $10.7 million.

Combined, 98 of the companies surveyed donated a total of about $2 billion to organizations outside the U.S. in 2005, and a comparison of companies that gave overseas in both 2004 and 2005 shows a 14 percent increase in donations.

Health and human services organizations reaped by far the largest share of contributions, 56 percent of domestic donations, the study says, due in large part to pharmaceutical companies, which together accounted for more than four in 10 dollars donated.

Education ranked a distant second with 15 percent of overall U.S. giving.

For the third year in a row, non-cash donations exceeded cash, accounting for more than half of all domestic and overseas giving.

Of the companies that have affiliated foundations, more than six in 10 made gifts to their foundations in 2005, with a median gift value of $5 million, down from $6 million the previous year.

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