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.
Margaret McKenna leads the Walmart Foundation, a perch that gives her one of the biggest jobs in US philanthropy, running the charitable efforts of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
McKenna directs a half-billion dollars a year in giving, focusing on hunger and education. While she tackles issues close to her heart, she has also become an ambassador for the world’s most powerful retail machine, helping to burnish its image and lay the groundwork for its push into urban markets.
Causes, which helps donors link up with charities online, has teamed up with gift card marketer Blackhawk Network to sell $25 and $50 prepaid gift cards in 800 Safeway and Vons supermarkets in California. Givers get a tax write-off. Recipients log on to Causes.com/giftcard to choose from more than 1 million nonprofits.
Corporate philanthropy is changing.
Companies may allow their employees to volunteer while on the clock or reward customers for their volunteerism. Many give goods rather than cash and focus more on areas in which they have expertise. And, in what is perhaps the most profound shift, some companies are thinking more long term and aligning their philanthropy with their core business strategies looking for ways to do good at the same time they improve their bottom lines.
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.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. raised $20 million for the Children's Miracle Network during a six-week campaign.
CHICAGO, Ill. – May 24, 2010 – The Walmart Foundation today announced a $1.2 million dollar donation to the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to install solar panels on 20 schools in five cities across the country. The five cities taking part in the program are Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Seattle.
“The Walmart Solar School program will help educate the next generation on the opportunities and benefits of using more renewable energy,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “This program aligns perfectly with Walmart’s sustainability commitment to involve our communities and customers in our environmental and social efforts.”
Over the next five years, the giant retail company will distribute some 1.1 billion pounds of food to food banks and provide $250 million to help them buy refrigerated trucks, improve storage and develop better logistics.
August 17, 2009, The New York Times — The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the institution being built in Bentonville, Ark., by Alice L. Walton, the Wal-Mart heiress, said on Monday that it had hired the director of the Toledo Museum of Art to be its new director.
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