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20 May. 2014 | Comments (0)

From 2010 to 2013, the majority of companies—64 percent—increased their community investments, driven by improved business performance and underpinned by noncash giving. These are the initial findings from the latest Giving in Numbers survey, carried out by CECP in association with The Conference Board.

We are delighted to report that the 2014 survey on 2013 contributions collected data from a record 261 of the world’s largest companies, with median revenues of $16 billion and median pretax profits of $1.9 billion. Just over half of the companies surveyed (52 percent) increased giving by more than 10 percent since 2010 while also increasing revenue (by 11 percent), suggesting that societal engagement is not a financial tradeoff, but a sound business strategy.

Impact measurement benchmarking data

For the first time, the Giving in Numbers survey also asked questions about the impact measurement practices of participating companies. It found that 76 percent of companies measure the outcomes and/or impacts of their community programs. However, many other companies reported that they are just beginning their impact measurement journey and plan to expand and improve these evaluation practices in the future. Many companies are measuring their core signature programs, and they are beginning to use the data to inform the way they carry out their programs. Companies care deeply about the effect their programs are having on the community and want to do more to measure their value.

Additional findings

Alongside these headline data, the Giving in Numbers survey found:

  • Sixty-four percent of companies made noncash gifts, including product, pro-bono, and other in-kind contributions. The average noncash gift increased by 66 percent for companies that increased giving by more than 10 percent from 2010 to 2013.
  • Community and economic development was the fastest-growing program area, with total contributions increasing 34 percent from 2010 to 2013.
  • For the second straight year, education (K-12 and higher education) was the most popular funding area. Companies gave an average of 28 percent of their contributions budgets to education in 2013, slightly ahead of health and social services.
  • Companies that made international contributions in 2013 gave an average of 22 percent of their total giving budget to recipients outside their headquarter country.
  • Fifty-nine percent of companies provided paid release-time volunteer programs in 2013, up from 51 percent in 2010.
  • The median number of hours volunteered on company time grew 37 percent from 2010 to 2013.

More to come

The forthcoming report, Giving in Numbers: 2014 Edition, published by CECP in association with The Conference Board, will provide full survey results, with detailed benchmarking data on trends in corporate giving. In the meantime, if you are a member of The Conference Board Contributions Councils or Global Social Investing Council, and your company participated in the Giving in Numbers survey, you will also have access to exclusive benchmarking analysis. For more information, please contact me at For more information on The Conference Board Councils, please click here.

  • About the Author:Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson

    Alex Parkinson is Principal of Parky Communications, a communications agency specializing in sustainability and CSR reporting and communications. He serves as the Co-Leader of The Conference Board Cor…

    Full Bio | More from Alex Parkinson


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