Corporate Charity Escalates In 2001

February 4, 2003 ( - The Conference Board's annual survey of corporate philanthropy reveals company contributions to worthy causes is on the rise.

Attributed to after September 11 giving, the Conference Board found contributions rose to $4.5 billion in 2001, an increase from the $3.9 billion the previous year.  

The escalation was continued in the median ratio of total US contributions to the number of US corporate employees coming in at $448, an increase of 33.3% from 2000.   Additionally, the average gift rose from $19 million in 2000 to $20.7 million in 2001, an increase of 8.9%. Overall, the Conference Board found that the majority of the donated corporate money going to support for education.

Continuing on a trend begun in 1992, the study also showed the share of non-cash contributions increasing in 2001.

However, the post September 11 rush to give took its toll on corporate foundation donations.   Among the 127 surveyed companies that maintained corporate foundations, 41% made gifts to their foundations in 2001, down from 62% in 2000. Individual gifts varied widely in size, from $543 million to $600 million, with 2001’s median value of these gifts at $3.6 million, down from $5.0 million in 2000.

Excluding September 11 giving, the Conference Board study found no real change in corporate giving, with the percentage of domestic pretax income remaining unchanged from 2000, at 1%.  

The new study, which involved 187 large US firms, covers about 50% of the overall $9 billion corporate charitable giving in the US in 2001.