Giving by Corporations

2017 2.4 2018 2.7

Giving by corporations includes all IRS itemized cash and non-cash donations contributed by all U.S. corporations and businesses and their foundations to U.S. charities.

Giving by corporations is predicted to increase by 2.4% in 2017 and by 2.7% in 2018.*

The current projections for giving by corporations for the years 2017 and 2018 are lower than the 25-year and 40-year historical averages for giving of this type, but higher than the flat rate of change seen, on average, during the prior 10-year period.23

Specific factors that will significantly and positively influence corporate giving in 2017 and 2018 include:

  • Average growth in GDP, and
  • Above-average growth in corporate saving.

The above two factors account for the majority of the predicted growth in giving by corporations in these years.

Declines in consumer sentiment for preceding and projected years may soften the positive results expected for corporate giving in 2017 and 2018, as will increases in corporate profit for these years.24 As a general rule, corporate giving is associated with corporate pre-tax profits. The negative influence of current-year corporate profits on corporate giving may reflect a reduced need to use philanthropy as a marketing tool and increased current-year production costs that tap into the same company resources used for philanthropic initiatives.25 Or, it could be that current-year profits coincide with increased current-year production costs that tap into the same company resources used for philanthropic initiatives.

* All growth rates are based on predictions for giving in inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars using 2016 as the base year. The Philanthropy Outlook projects the growth rates of variables into 2017 and 2018; predicted growth rates are compared with the variables’ historical 10-, 25-, and 40-year annualized means. See Table 1 for these data.