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Corporate giving grows but median flat

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Corporate giving

Corporate giving

Corporate giving grew nearly 18 percent in 2010, mainly because of increased giving at a handful of companies, with pharmaceutical companies accounting for over half the growth, preliminary findings of a new survey says.

Sixty-five percent of 184 companies surveyed by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, including 63 of the top 100 companies on the Fortune  500 list, gave more in 2010 than in 2009, with 40 percent of those companies increasing their giving by 10 percent or more.

Median giving, however, was largely unchanged, at $24.88 million.

Helping to drive the increase were the consumer-staples, financials, industrials and information-technology sectors, with most of them giving 20 percent to 30 percent more in 2010 than in 2009, while the consumer-discretionary and utility industries reported lower aggregate giving.

The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy also found that 53 percent of companies gave more in 2010 than in 2007, before the U.S. economy collapsed.

Among 110 companies that responded to the survey in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, accounting for roughly 84 percent of $15 billion in total cash and product giving in the survey, a quarter increased their giving by 25 percent in 2010 compared to 2007, while 21 percent reduced contributions by 25 percent of more.

“This shows that while some companies have been able to surpass pre-crisis levels, others are still in a period of rebuilding,” Alison Rose, manager of standards and measurement at the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, says in a statement.

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