Majority of Companies Increased Community Investments, Focused Giving Programs Since End of Global Recession

Majority of Companies Increased Community Investments, Focused Giving Programs Since End of Global Recession

261 Companies Took Part in Largest Study of Corporate Societal Engagement
Monday, October 20, 2014 - 10:00am

CAMPAIGN: 2014 Giving in Numbers

CONTENT: Press Release

NEW YORK, NY, October 20, 2014 /3BL Media/ - From 2010 to 2013, giving increased for 64% of companies, and it grew by more than 10% for 52% of companies. Companies that increased giving since 2010 improved business performance; companies that increased giving by more than 10% since 2010 also increased median revenues by 11% from 2010 to 2013, and pre-tax profits increased for 59% of those companies. CECP, in association with The Conference Board, released Giving in Numbers: 2014 Edition report, an in-depth analysis of corporate giving trends based on Giving in Numbers Survey data from a record 261 of the world’s largest companies.

The median number of nonprofit partners per corporate grantmaker declined each year from 2010 to 2013, whereas grant sizes increased each year as companies focused societal investment dollars on strategic community partners. Non-cash giving increased in recent years, particularly for Service companies, driven by an expansion of pro bono service programs; half of the companies surveyed offered domestic pro bono programs in 2013 compared to 34% in 2010, with every industry represented in the study of pro bono service for the first time in 2013.

Giving in Numbers Infographics:

While giving grew for a majority of companies in the Giving in Numbers Survey and the largest giving “increasers” also saw the highest increases in revenues and pre-tax profits, the rate of growth of giving is slowing. The year 2013 saw the smallest marginal increases in giving (+6%, compared to +17% in 2012) among companies giving 10% or more since the end of the Great Recession and the largest marginal decreases in giving (-6%, compared to -1% in 2012) among all other companies.

“As companies settle in to this post-recession economy and normalize their business practices, corporate giving is no exception,” stated Michael Stroik, Manager, Research and Analytics, CECP, a coalition of 150 CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance.  “Companies implemented more strategic and business-aligned community investment strategies during the recession, which continue today. They continue to see the win-win of their more strategic--and in many cases, increased--community investments as their revenues rise with their societal engagement.”

Companies want to know that their grant dollars are making a difference, particularly in areas such as community and economic development that are foundational to the strength of society. Just over three-quarters of companies (76%) are measuring the outcomes and/or impacts of their programs. Many companies are measuring their core, signature programs and they are beginning to use the data to inform the way they carry out their programs. Companies care deeply about the effect their programs are having on the community and want to do more to measure their value.

“The vast majority of companies measure the impact of their giving. Clearly this practice has become an integral part of corporate philanthropy,” said Alex Parkinson, Research Associate, The Conference Board. “Companies that aren’t seeking to understand the difference their charitable contributions make need to consider how to implement measurement regimes with their nonprofit partners.”

A Deeper Look at Post-Recession Giving

A behavior that grew during the recession was to make the most of non-cash resources in the community when cash reserves were low. As non-cash giving increased in recent years, the industries taking part have shifted in prominence. Manufacturers have historically given more non-cash gifts, typically through product donations, but Service companies led the expansion of non-cash giving since the Great Recession.

  • From 2010 to 2013, Service companies’ average non-cash giving as a percentage of total giving increased from 15% to 18%, whereas Manufacturing companies’ average non-cash giving as a percentage of total giving decreased from 29% to 25%.
  • 64% of companies made non-cash gifts, including product, pro bono, and other in-kind contributions in 2013.The average non-cash gift increased by 66% for companies that increased giving by more than 10% from 2010 to 2013.

One driver of this growth in non-cash giving was the expansion of pro bono service programs as every industry was represented in the 2013 pro bono analysis for the first time since Giving in Numbers began reporting on employee engagement programs.

  • In 2010, 34% of companies offered a domestic pro bono service program; by 2013, 50% of companies were offering a pro bono program.

More information on pro bono service, including an in-depth look at the data and trends, company case studies, and an analysis of future growth, can be found in a new report by The Taproot Foundation, Key Trends to Watch: The Next Wave of Growth in Corporate Pro Bono Service, which references Giving in Numbers data.    

Additional topics on which Giving in Numbers reports include:

  • Administration and program costs (e.g., foundations, management, staffing, budgets)
  • Giving program areas (e.g., education, healthcare, arts and culture)
  • International giving
  • Employee engagement (e.g., matching gifts, volunteering)

The Giving in Numbers Report is an indispensable tool for corporate giving professionals as they administer and implement their programs. They use the data and tools within the report to strengthen their programs and deepen their impact in the community. The Giving in Numbers repository now holds more than $250 billion in corporate societal investment data collected since 2001.

Custom analysis of the data is available to CECP-affiliated companies at no additional cost; these companies can access data through CECP’s secure online portal or by contacting CECP ( 2013 data is now available online. 

Giving in Numbers Survey respondents that are also members of The Conference Board Contributions Council I and II, and the Global Social Investing Council have access to benchmarking data from the report. Members can access this data by contacting The Conference Board (

CECP is grateful to Newman's Own Foundation, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and The Travelers Companies, Inc. for their support in making Giving in Numbers possible.

Giving in Numbers related events:

Note to Editors: Michael Stroik, Manager, Research and Analytics, CECP and report author, is available for comment and a more in depth look at the community investment data collected from 261 of the world’s largest companies. 


CECP is a coalition of CEOs united in the belief that societal improvement is an essential measure of business performance. Founded in 1999 by Paul Newman and other business leaders, CECP has grown to a movement of 150 CEOs of the world’s largest companies across all industries. Revenues of engaged companies sum to $7 trillion annually. A nonprofit organization, CECP offers participating companies one-on-one consultation, networking events, exclusive data, media support and case studies on corporate engagement. For more information, visit

The Conference Board is a global, independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. Our mission is unique: To provide the world’s leading organizations with the practical knowledge they need to improve their performance and better serve society. The Conference Board is a non-advocacy, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States.


Sara Adams
+1 (212) 825-1252
Jonathan Liu
+1 (212) 339-0257
The Conference Board