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Entrepreneurs more likely to give

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PJ staff report

Companies led by entrepreneurs give to charity more than twice the share of the profits than many of the biggest companies in the U.S., a new study says.

Sixty-two percent of entrepreneurs’ companies say giving back makes them more successful in the long run, 26 percent built corporate giving into their original business plans, and 70 percent did not wait until they were successful to give but started supporting charities while building their businesses, according to Entrepreneurs & Philanthropy: Investing in the Future, a study by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund.

The study also finds 89 percent of entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies, 70 percent also donate time;, and 61 percent believe being an entrepreneur makes them more inclined to charity.

“Just as they put their hearts and souls into their businesses, entrepreneurs pour themselves into the causes they care about,” Sarah C. Libbey, president of the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, says in a statement. “They are passionate about investing not just money, but time and energy, in the causes most important to them and their companies.

The survey of nearly 150 CEOs and founders also found that 89 percent of entrepreneurs donate money, both personally and through their companies, to support charitable causes, while 70 percent also donate their time.

Sixty-one percent believe being an entrepreneur makes them more inclined to give back, 73 percent say their companies’ policies actively encourage employees to volunteer their time or expertise, or both, and 53 percent offer programs that encourage employees to support charitable causes financially.

Entrepreneurs says their top reason for supporting corporate giving is that it lets them, as leaders, integrate their personal philosophies for giving into their corporate culture, with 29 percent aiming to engage with causes that align with their company’s core mission.

Over 55 percent of entrepreneurs personally pick the charities their companies will support.

Sixty-one percent sit on a nonprofit board, 50 percent chair or have chaired a board, and 43 percent have formed their own charities.

And while donor-advised funds account for only three percent of overall charitable giving in the U.S. totaling over $300 billion, the study says, 16 percent of entrepreneurs use donor-advised funds for their personal philanthropy.

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