Charity Donations Improve Corporate Reputations

Even in tough times, it appears that America’s biggest businesses are still donating a lot to charity. If you check out America’s Most Generous Companies you will find some of the biggest companies on the list.

Large companies gave 5.1% more to charity in 2008 than in 2007, on average, even though the recession officially began in December 2007.

During tough times, reputation is everything. A recent survey by Boston College’s Center for Corporate Citizenship and the Hitachi Foundation found that 70% of senior executives considered reputation the No. 1 driver behind their companies’ corporate citizenship efforts. At the biggest companies, 82%. It’s no wonder chief executive officers now directly lead the corporate citizenship agendas at three out of four corporations.

You can find more details of the study on the website of The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Newspaper of the Non-profit World.

At the other end of the scale, you have Guerrilla Giving. This is one family’s adventure in philanthropy as they describe it.

For a year (a lifetime?), we’re committed to giving away 10% of our annual gross income in daily increments to mostly random recipients. We have had experience with tithing in the past (10% traditionally) but it was often done as an after-thought, at the end of the month or at the end of the year–written as a cheque or dropped in an offering bowl. Giving like that was rarely joyful for us. Guerrilla Giving, on the other hand, is fun, adventurous, and immediate.

Giving to charities can be done for a variety of reasons. Whatever the motivation or the amount, it seems clear that charity giving brings benefits both to the givers and to the receivers.

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