Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bumpy ride for corporate giving amid recession

Reuters reported that giving by U.S. companies endured the worst recession in decades with mixed results as some pared back philanthropy in the face of tough times, others increased budgets and most predicted a steady 2010.

The economic downturn sparked some changes in giving priorities as well, with several companies placing more importance on basic needs such as fighting hunger and homelessness and others focusing more in their local communities.

"This is not just giving money anymore. It's solving problems. These are social issues that we're addressing," said Charles Moore, executive director of the nonprofit Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

"Companies continue to examine their priorities. Very few are taking on new kinds of causes, and they are tending to reallocate the funds they do have," he said. "There's great expectation on the part of communities and (employees) on companies -- they expect more."

Reuters spoke to 10 companies whose philanthropic arms are ranked by the Foundation Center among the top U.S. foundations. Four said the dollar value of their giving increased in 2009, two said it remained steady, and four said it dropped. Read more here.