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In the face of severe economic headwinds, 61 percent of major global companies spent more on philanthropy in 2020 than budgeted. That’s according to a new survey of public and private companies with median revenues of more than US $28 billion conducted by The Conference Board Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Center. According to the survey, over 67 percent of these leading companies plan to maintain or increase their total level of giving in 2021. Findings and insights from the survey include:
Corporations stepped up their giving to address the pandemic and racial inequality in 2020:
- Nearly 61 percent of companies surveyed spent more on philanthropy in 2020 than budgeted.
- 58 percent of respondents used incremental funds to respond to COVID-19.
- 54 percent used incremental funds to do more to address racism in the U.S.
Look for sustained corporate giving in 2021:
- Over two-thirds of respondent companies plan to maintain or increase their total level of giving in 2021.
Look for virtual volunteering to continue:
- While over 70 percent of respondents have resumed in-person volunteering, 88 percent are now offering virtual volunteering opportunities.
Companies are providing additional support and flexibility for non-profit partners:
- 77 percent of respondent companies have increased funding for nonprofits.
- Nearly 75 percent removed restrictions to allow nonprofits to use grants for general operating expenses.
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The Conference Board is the member-driven think tank that delivers trusted insights for what’s ahead. Founded in 1916, we are a non-partisan, not-for-profit entity holding 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status in the United States. www.conference-board.org
 The survey was sent at the end of November to 102 public and private companies with median revenues of more than US $28 billion; 51 responded.
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