Corporate giving expected to drop

As the recession continues to pound corporate profits and drag down stock prices, many U.S. businesses are expecting to cut their sponsorships and grantmaking in 2009, a new report says.

The giving budgets of the nation’s corporations fared relatively well in 2008, with only 13 percent reporting cuts in the fourth quarter, says the report from The Conference Board.

But almost half the companies surveyed already have cut their giving budgets for this year, and another 16 percent are considering cuts.

One in three corporations say they will award fewer grants in 2009, and more than one in five are considering following suit.

More than half the corporations surveyed cited limited financial resources as the leading factor in consideration as they plan their budgets, followed by the need to align giving more closely with business needs, and following directions from the corporate board or CEO.

More than half of businesses say event sponsorships will take the biggest hit in 2009, the report says, while volunteerism will be the largest beneficiary, with more than four in 10 planning to put more resources into the area.

Arts and culture groups likely will be see the greatest drop in corporate contributions, with more than one in four businesses planning cuts.

A similar number of funders plan to cut donations for workforce development.

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