Last month the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (“CECP”) published its annual report on corporate philanthropy, “Giving in Numbers2009.” This is one of the reports we look forward to seeing each year, as CECP is very highly regarded and counts among its member CEOs of many of the leading global corporate citizens, including several of GlobalGiving’s corporate partners – Applied Materials, Gap, Inc., Hasbro and PepsiCo, to name a few.
CECP describes itself as the only international forum of CEOs and chairpersons pursuing a mission exclusively focused on corporate philanthropy. The Committee’s membership consists of more than 170 executives who lead the business community in raising the level and quality of corporate giving.
The ~60 page report is actually pretty easy to digest, but here are some highlights:
- Even in challenging economic times (and giving overall being down in 2008), 53% of surveyed companies increased giving from 2007 to 2008;
- Among the 53% of companies that gave more in 2008, non-cash giving increased by a median of 29%;
- Improved contributions tracking, beyond-budget disaster-relief giving, and strong profits through the third quarter were among the reasons cited for increased giving; And interestingly,
- Financial results are not statistically linked to corporate giving, as corroborated by Giving USA.
The minor mentions of “international giving” are highly noteworthy, as they continue to emphasize the barriers and difficulties many U.S. companies identify:
Frequently cited challenges in expanding global giving include: developing local issue expertise, vetting NGOs, U.S. Patriot Act compliance, and building local community partnerships. The complexity of receiving tax deductions for international donations can be an additional deterrent. Cultural differences among employee attitudes toward volunteerism and charitable giving can also hinder global giving initiatives.
Companies also face hurdles in accurately measuring giving abroad. Pockets of international giving may be unrecognized because the tools and communication channels needed to record them accurately have not matured. Still, international giving is a growing priority as business globalizes.
We are glad that we’ve been able to help many companies address these challenges. Here are just a few examples:
- Nike and Gap have been able to engage their employees globally and create equity worldwide in workplace giving – not just for disaster giving but every day
- Symantec has funded a great strategically-aligned program in Pune, India through GlobalGiving, providing them a way to find grantees and receive the tax deduction they need
- Intel has sponsored the Technology and Innovation Fund and we have worked to establish very specific deliverables with the implementers – tracked by GlobalGiving -giving Intel the measurement/impact assessment it desires and a platform to engage other stakeholders.
We feel privileged to work with some of the most creative companies around. And we’re always up for working with more.