Megaphilanthropy last year remained below levels seen before 2007’s economic shock, according to a new Chronicle of Philanthropy study. The top 50 donors on The Chronicle's list committed a total of $7.4 billion to charity in 2012. The median gift was $49.6 million, down significantly from 2007’s high of $74.7 million. Most of the money went to big, elite institutions. Seventy-two percent of the dollars pledged supported higher education, arts and culture, hospitals, and private foundations.
Charitable giving by America’s biggest businesses rose slowly last year and shows little sign of gaining in 2012, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy study of 166 large companies.
(See an interactive table that pinpoints how much each company gave in cash and products and the causes they supported.)
Donations grew by 4 percent in 2011, according to the 115 companies that provided two years’ worth of data. That’s far less than the 13 percent rise from 2009 to 2010, when companies saw a sharp rebound in profits after the recession.
Charitable giving by America’s biggest companies will probably be flat in 2011, after a sharp rebound in 2010, according to a Chronicle of Philanthropy survey of 180 of businesses.
Cash giving rose by 13 percent, a relief to charities after the recession caused a decline of 7.5 percent by companies in 2009.
Seventy-four of the 107 companies from the Fortune 500 that provided projections said they expect this year’s giving to remain about the same as last year’s. Twenty-seven expect total giving to increase, while six expect a decrease.
Even in a tough economy, online philanthropy at eBay clicked. Making it easier for people to donate to their favorite nonprofits and high-profile celebrity auctions pushed charitable donations in 2010 from eBay sellers and buyers to a record $54.8-million, a 7-percent increase over 2009.
To donate, people could give a percentage of anything they sold or add a contribution to anything they bought, and nonprofits could sell items to raise money.
Corporate profits are on the rebound, but most big businesses say it will be some time before they can give as much cash as they did before the recession, according to a Chronicle survey of 162 of the country’s largest corporations.
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