Corporate Donations Make Good Business Sense
Community Lifeline Center is fortunate to have the support of several area businesses who give money, time, or products and services in support of our community. In fact some Community Lifeline board members own or manage local businesses. A number of business owners genuinely believe they can do well, by doing good. And, a study by Dover Management – a company that operates a mutual fund that invests in corporations committed to charitable giving- seems to support that belief.
The study found that companies with a direct link between charitable giving and operating earnings outperformed the Standard & Poor’s 500 index by 3.5 percentage points over five years. Dover’s research is further supported by a study from the New York University Stern School of Business and the University of Texas at Dallas School of Management, which said, “corporate charitable contributions are effective in enhancing revenues in the ‘consumer sectors,’ such as retailers and financial services.”
The Chronicle of Philanthropy, a magazine that monitors the charitable giving industry, tracks donations from the largest corporations in the United States from the annual Fortune 500 list. The magazine’s 2011 Survey of Corporate Giving includes data on 2010 donations for 180 of those top companies. The five most generous corporations – those that gave more than 5% of their profits to charity – in 2010 were:
- Dow Chemical
- Morgan Stanley
Looking just at total dollar donations, the list begins with Wal Mart, followed by AT&T, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and many other well-known names.
That’s a pretty impressive list. These companies tend not to toot their own horn about giving. They contribute a lot toward specific causes and community charities, but don’t make a big deal of it.
This makes a lot of sense when you think about it from a people standpoint: the people these companies employ, and their families. The people they want to employ, and their families, as well as the suppliers who serve them, and their friends and families. These companies – and those who haven’t yet cracked the Fortune 500 list – give because it’s the right thing to do, and because they know a vibrant, economically inclusive community, is essential to their business. They do indeed; do well, by doing good. They invest in human and community capital because the ROI from that investment rewards everyone.
Community Lifeline Center salutes and thanks the many local businesses who support CLC and all of the area non-profits. You can thank them, too, through your patronage.