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The Importance of Corporate Giving

Research demonstrates that corporations infusing philanthropy in their core values yield optimal outcomes.

Fostering excellence in philanthropy through corporate giving, in many forms, is an admirable trait found in hundreds of major corporations. From donations to nonprofit organizations and charities, matching gift programs, volunteer grants and support initiatives, community grants, and employee grant stipends, communities are strengthened and lives are improved through meaningful corporate giving.

Investments and actions voluntarily offered on behalf of a corporation are its way of giving back, promoting social well-being and taking responsibility a leader in the communities where it does business. In addition, philanthropy, volunteerism and charity go a long way in both long-term and strategic plans to meet the needs of others, as well as providing immediate relief to people with specific needs or in the face of disaster or other challenges.

Large corporations known for their initiatives in giving back include Johnson & Johnson, whose efforts focus on improving the health of mothers, infants and children; Citigroup, which works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities; Samsung, which focuses on education, health care and environmental sustainability; PepsiCo Inc., which has invested more than $60 million globally and catalyzed an additional $59 million in funding from others to bring food and resources to communities; Shell, by way of monetary grants to nonprofit organizations; General Motors, by investing in STEM education, vehicle road safety and community development; Levi Strauss, which works to pioneer social change for underserved and highly vulnerable populations; and Microsoft, whose employees donated $221 million (inclusive of company match) to nonprofits and volunteered hundreds of thousands of hours.

Companies such as these and others whose values are deeply rooted in giving back believe that a corporate culture that supports charitable giving in some form improves employee engagement and fosters an overall positive attitude.

According to a spokesperson on behalf of the Home Depot Foundation, the “nonprofit arm of the Home Depot works to improve the homes and lives of U.S. veterans, support communities impacted by natural disasters and train skilled tradespeople to fill the labor gap.”

The foundation has invested more than $400 million in veteran causes and improved more than 50,000 veteran homes and facilities since 2011.

“The foundation has pledged to invest half a billion dollars in veteran causes by 2025 and $50 million in training the next generation of skilled tradespeople through the Path to Pro program,” the spokesperson said.

Montgomery Consulting Inc. issued a report that tracks Michigan’s fundraising climate. The results showed that fundraising within the state relies heavily on corporate donors.

“Corporate giving proves to be much more important for Michigan organizations than you would think based on what some national studies say,” said Montgomery Consulting’s owner and principal consultant, Michael Montgomery.

The reason lies in the fact that Michigan is home to many large corporations such as the Detroit Three automakers, Whirlpool and Dow.

“Some of America’s biggest corporate givers are headquartered here — and companies generally give more at, in and near their home community than in other places,” Montgomery said.

Whether through cash donations and grants, in-kind gifts, sponsorships, cause-related marketing or employee gift matching, corporate giving demonstrates the companies’ willingness to take an active interest in the environment and society.