Charitable giving by the largest global corporations totaled $23.8 billion in 2017, up 15 percent from 2015, an annual report from and the finds.
Based on a survey of more than two hundred and fifty of the world's largest companies, the report, (52 pages, PDF), found that corporate giving increased for the third consecutive year, with the top quartile of corporations collectively giving at least $55.3 million, or 1.82 percent of their pre-tax profit, up from $53 million and 1.7 percent in 2016. Nearly six in ten companies (56 percent) in a three-year matched set increased their giving between 2015 and 2017, including 31 percent that boosted giving by more than 25 percent, while 41 percent reduced their giving, including 14 percent that reduced their giving by more than 25 percent. Median giving in 2017 among all respondents — which rose 15 percent over the three-year period — was $19.2 million, or 0.87 percent of pre-tax profit, compared with $19 million and 0.91 percent in 2016.
According to the report, multiple natural disasters in 2017 contributed to a 306 percent increase in median cash giving in support of disaster relief over the three-year period, from $111,000 in 2015 to $862,000 in 2017, as well as a 208 percent increase in total cash giving in that area. Well over half (62 percent) of the increase in total aggregate giving was driven by healthcare companies.
The report also found that more companies are focusing on signature or core programs and awarding fewer but larger grants to deepen their impact; that the practice of measuring social outcomes and impact is becoming more widespread; that employee volunteer programs and corporate giving teams continue to expand; that more companies had open matching- gift programs, which generated more contributions in 2017 than those with limited matching-gift programs; and that companies that measured the social impact and the business value of giving and volunteering secured greater commitment from their employees both in terms of contributions and volunteer participation rates.
"It is encouraging to see leading companies lever their resources, capabilities, and business discipline to expand their role as a force for good in society," said CECP chief executive Daryl Brewster. "While more can be done, the latest version of Giving in Numbers shows the social investment practices and strategies of purpose-driven corporations that are on the leading edge to drive sustainable solutions to the world's most pressing problems."