Corporate Giving: Are the Purse Strings Loosening?

A recent survey of U.S. companies showed that planning for community involvement, including contributions, has “moved out of crisis mode and into a recovery mindset.” In other words, drastic budget cuts in charitable giving have slowed among these companies, and they are again thinking about helping their communities.

What does this mean for non profit organization (NPO) executives and volunteer boards? Perhaps some breathing room. If your NPO made it through 2009 intact, you may see increased corporate support in the rest of 2010.

Still, according to the report, 20% of the 114 companies surveyed in December 2009 and January 2010 are planning on reducing their budgets for charitable giving. But that’s a significant drop from 53% in the same survey taken in 2008-2009.

The good news on the volunteer side is that most of the surveyed companies plan to increase the resources devoted to volunteer programs. Event sponsorship, however, will continue to take a hit. Corporations will want to help with personnel hours instead of dollars. Continue developing relationships with corporate leaders and let them know how their employees can help your organization.

Capital campaigns and arts and culture organizations will continue to be hard hit, since more companies plan to focus resources on education and environmental causes.

But the positive news is that the companies surveyed overwhelmingly say they are less likely to reduce their contributions-related administrative budgets (down from 34% last year), and less likely to cut grant size (8% this year, 21% last year). Another bright spot: only 11% of surveyed companies plan to make fewer grants in 2010, compared to nearly 34% in 2009.

So, while non profits will continue to work hard for contributions, there could be pleasant surprises along the way in 2010!

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