Changes afoot in corporate giving

With the recession continuing to squeeze the margins of U.S. corporations, giving adjustments likely will help some causes and hurt others, a new study says.

Most companies say they will either hold steady or increase their charitable giving in 2009, says a new report from LBG Research Institute.

But they likely will direct more of their resources to basic-needs groups, a shift that could hurt other areas, particularly the arts and culture sector.

More than four in 10 corporations, and almost as many corporate foundations, plan to decrease their giving in 2009 by about 3 percent to 5 percent, the study says.

Regardless of whether they plan to give more or less, more than eight in 10 corporations say their giving will be more “strategic.”

For example, one survey respondent plans to direct all of its budget increase to basic needs like food, clothing and shelter.

Among the companies that currently support basic-needs charities, 23 percent plan to give more in 2009.

But arts and culture groups are set to lose support, with about half of companies that currently support the arts anticipating a decrease in their giving in the coming year.

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