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94% of major US corporations plan to maintain charitable giving

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Following two years of increased charitable giving, a new survey reveals the momentum will continue in 2022: 94 percent of major US corporations plan to maintain or increase their charitable giving this year. This sustained increase in corporate giving is being driven by companies’ efforts to address COVID-19 and advance racial equity, according to the survey by The Conference Board ESG Center.

However, the ramp-up in corporate giving also comes with challenges: 53 percent of the corporate citizenship executives surveyed said their departments’ lack of resources—not just money, but importantly, also time and staff—pose the biggest challenge to reaching their goals.

The Conference Board survey reflects the responses of corporate citizenship executives at 55 major public and private companies with median annual revenues of more than $24 billion. Findings and insights from the survey include:

The momentum continues: Increases in corporate citizenship donations will continue in 2022.

  • Despite the economic headwinds in the first year of the pandemic, over 60 percent of companies donated more in 2020 than they had budgeted.*
  • In 2021, 97 percent donated the same or more than they had budgeted for the year. 
  • Now, 94 percent of respondents expect their corporate citizenship financial contribution budget for 2022 to be the same or greater than their actual 2021 spending.

charitable giving

Combating COVID: In 2021, a majority of companies maintained or increased their giving to nonprofit partners addressing social issues associated with the pandemic.



  • 60 percent of respondents’ contributions to nonprofits to address COVID-19 were about the same or greater than in 2020.

charitable giving

 

Combating racism: An even higher percentage of companies maintained or increased their funding to address racial equity. 

  • 85 percent of respondents contributed about the same or more to address racial equity in 2021 as they had in 2020.
  • 97 percent of respondents contributed about the same or more to address racial equity in 2021 than they had budgeted for the year.

charitable giving

With 92 percent making racial equity a strategic priority, companies are not only increasing their donations. They are also evaluating their broader corporate citizenship efforts through a racial equity lens.

  • 88 percent of respondents have, are, or are planning to evaluate the design and delivery of their corporate citizenship programs through a racial equity lens.

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A lack of resources is the top obstacle to achieving firms’ corporate citizenship goals.

  • 53 percent of respondents cite lack of time, money, and staff as their biggest obstacle to achieving their goals in 2022.

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“More than half of the corporate citizenship executives surveyed said the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals in 2022 is a lack of resources,” said Paul Washington, Executive Director of The Conference Board ESG Center. “Successfully advancing their agendas, however, does not necessarily mean simply adding more staff to corporate citizenship departments, but also harnessing broader resources across the organization, focusing on increased efficiency, and developing partnerships with other companies to maximize impact.”

Corporate citizenship executives are focused on integrating their efforts with the company’s business strategy, increasing their impact, and enhancing employee engagement.

  • Only 6 percent ranked increasing efficiency as a top priority.

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