Companies That Walk the Philanthropic Walk
Hank Rosso, one of the leaders of modern fundraising, noted that fundraising professionals seek funds primarily from individuals, corporations, foundations, associations and organizations. With respect to corporations, many themes have focused around the fact that corporations are greedy and only care about generating profits. Many articles and stories continue to paint corporations in a very negative light. While many companies certainly earn their reputations by only being self-serving, others care about the communities they support through philanthropy.
There are a variety of reasons why corporations give to a variety of causes. According to CFRE K. Scott Sheldon in Henry A. Rosso and Associates' "Achieving Excellence in Fund Raising," some common reasons include:
- Good corporate citizenship
- Enlightened self-interest
- Individual leadership initiative
- Quid pro quo interests
In a 2011 MainStreet article, "The 10 Most Charitable Companies in America," author Greg Emerson writes that five companies listed in the Chronicle of Philanthropy's 2011 Survey of Corporate Giving gave more than 5 percent of their 2009 profits to charity in 2010 (most generous), and five companies were listed that gave the most money to philanthropic causes in 2013 (biggest donors).
The most generous corporations (by amount and percent of 2009 profits):
- Kroger $64,000,000. (10.9 percent)
- Macy's $41,226,887. (8.1 percent)
- Safeway $76,500,000. (7.5 percent)
- Dow Chemical $34,237,817. (7.3 percent)
- Morgan Stanley $55,641,610. (5.7 percent)
The biggest donors (by amount and change from previous year)
- Wal-Mart $319,454,996. (10.9 percent increase)
- Goldman Sachs $315,383,413. (353.3 percent increase)
- Wells Fargo $219,132,065. (8.5 percent increase)
- Bank of America $207,939,857. (0.6 percent decrease)
- ExxonMobil $198,692,197. (6.2 percent increase)
I want to share two examples of corporate philanthropy from this list.
I work closely with Kevin Thompson, director of public affairs and governmental relations for Wal-Mart in Indiana. Wal-Mart has been a very important supporter of philanthropy, and that includes The Salvation Army in Indiana. We appreciate his leadership and the company's focus on caring for the communities the company serves.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at email@example.com or 317-224-1029.