Corporate Political Spending: A Resource

Latest News

The Conference Board Committee on Corporate Political Spending (“the Committee”) is proud to announce that eight members were recognized for their leadership in political spending governance by the 2014 CPA-Zicklin Index. To learn more about the policies and practices of the committee members, click on the member logos on this page or visit the committee member page.
(Note: Campbell Soup Company was not included in the index's reviews, which focused on the top 300 companies in the S&P500.)

The Issue

Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the media, academics, and the general public have increasingly focused their attention on the political activity of for profit and non-profit corporations as well as unions. During this same time, shareholders have also increasingly demanded greater transparency regarding corporate political activities, primarily using shareholder proposals that seek disclosure of such activities. Since 2010, more than 430 shareholder proposals on the topic of corporate political activity have been filed at Russell 3000 companies. The 2014 proxy season saw a continuation of this trend, with political spending proposals being the single most frequently submitted and voted proposal type across all subject categories, according to Proxy Voting Analytics (2010-2014).

Given such increased attention from the shareholder community and the general public, companies may want to consider adopting comprehensive policies that govern their company's political activity and also providing greater transparency into how they use corporate resources for political purposes, if they have not already done so. In the 2014 proxy season, 88.9% of the political spending proposals filed requested the disclosure of corporate political contributions and/or the company’s lobbying related activities.

The Conference Board Committee on Corporate Political Spending believes that corporate participation in the political process is an important and essential means of enhancing shareholder value, strengthening corporate reputation and goodwill, and engaging in good corporate citizenship. The Committee assists companies that are thinking through the issue of corporate political spending and regularly convenes leading American corporations to explore the issue of using corporate treasury funds in election-related activity.

Additional Resources

Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability, and DisclosureThe Committee on Corporate Political Spending is pleased to provide its latest report, Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability, and Disclosure.

Designed to complement The Conference Board Handbook on Corporate Political Activity: Emerging Corporate Governance Issues, the report helps corporations deepen their understanding of issues related to their involvement in the political process and offers a variety of approaches for political spending, disclosure, and accountability. Its goals are to inform, not to instruct, and to highlight viable options and examples of what other companies have done, not to advocate a specific agenda or point of view.

You can download the report* or request a hard copy by emailing the committee.

Our Vision

The Committee on Corporate Political Spending has adopted the following mission statement:

The Conference Board Committee on Corporate Political Spending is a committee of leading American corporations dedicated to accountability, disclosure, education, and engagement on issues of corporate political activity.

Learn more about corporate political spending:

The Committee's Report

Background

Shareholder Activity

Emerging Practices

Additional Resources

This website will be updated regularly. Please check back often. If you would like to contact the Committee, please click here.

 

 *Complimentary registration required.

Note: The Committee and these pages limit their scope to corporate political spending, direct and indirect. Lobbying expenditures are not addressed. For more information on the Committee on Corporate Political Spending, please click here.

The Conference Board does not represent that the data, information, analysis, conclusions or opinions provided by the listed Internet resources are correct or complete.  The Web sites and resources listed above are included for informational purposes and convenience only, and are not affiliated with, endorsed, or recommended by The Conference Board, the Committee, or its members.
Updated: 10/31/2014

Committee Members

Altria Group, Inc. Campbell Soup Company
Exelon Corporation General Electric
Merck Microsoft Corporation

Prudential Financial, Inc.

The Coca Cola Company

Learn more about the Committee

Download the Committee's Report

You can now download the Committee's Report, Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability, and Disclosure.

Complimentary registration required.

Download the report

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