Corporate giving in recovery

Corporations are moving from crisis mode to recovery mindset in planning for community involvement, a new survey says.

Over three-fourths of 114 companies responding to a survey by The Conference Board said they planned to recession-drive changes to their 2010 corporate-giving programs.

Setting priorities for contributions now reflects strategic goals such as getting corporate giving more in line with business needs, rather than economic concerns.

“Last year, due to the recession, it was all about cuts,” Carolyn Cavicchio, senior research association for global corporate citizenship at The Conference Board. “This year, the dollar spend for contributions has continued to decline, but at a far less accelerated pace.”

One in five companies said they would reduce their giving budgets in 2010, down from just over half in 2009, with only 4 percent of companies planning to reduce the size of their giving staff, down from 18 percent.

Most companies, repeating their approach in 2009, said they were investing more resources in volunteerism programs, and that event sponsorship would see the most decreases.

Companies said the biggest increases in resources will for international development; science, technology, engineering and math education; and the environment and sustainability, while capital campaigns, and arts and culture, will lost the most.

Only six percent of companies surveyed plan to reduce administrative budgets related to contributions, down from 34 percent last year, and only 11 percent plan to make fewer grants, down from 34.9 percent.

Only eight percent plan to make smaller grants, down from 20.9 percent.

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