Charitable giving is expected to remain a business priority at most companies in 2022, with some even growing their contributions from previous years. Corporate giving has been on the rise for the past two years and according to a survey by The Conference Board, and that momentum will extend into this year, as 94% of major U.S. corporations plan to maintain or increase their charitable giving in 2022.
The increase in corporate giving is attributed to companies’ efforts to address COVID-19 and advance racial equity. However, the ramp-up also comes with challenges: 53% of the corporate citizenship executives surveyed said their departments’ lack of resources—not just money but also time and staff— pose the biggest challenge to reaching their goals.
Despite the economic headwinds in the first year of the pandemic, over 60% of companies donated more in 2020 than they had budgeted. In 2021, 97% donated the same or more than they had budgeted for the year. The new survey shows that 94% of respondents expect their corporate citizenship financial contribution budgets for 2022 to be the same or greater than their actual 2021 spending.
In 2021, a majority of companies maintained or increased their giving to nonprofit partners addressing social issues associated with the pandemic. The Conference Board survey found that 60% of respondents’ contributions to nonprofits to address COVID-19 were about the same or greater than in 2020. An even higher percentage of companies maintained or increased their funding to address racial equity, with 85% of respondents contributing about the same or more to address racial equity in 2021 as they had in 2020.
The Conference Board’s data shows that 92% of companies have made racial equity a strategic priority. In turn, a clear majority (88%) are not only increasing their donations but also evaluating the design and delivery of their broader corporate citizenship efforts through a racial equity lens.
A lack of resources is the top obstacle to achieving firms’ corporate citizenship goals, however. Fifty-three percent of respondents cite lack of time, money and staff as their biggest obstacle to achieving their goals in 2022.
“More than half of the corporate citizenship executives surveyed said the biggest obstacle to achieving their goals in 2022 is a lack of resources,” says Paul Washington, executive director of The Conference Board ESG Center. “Successfully advancing their agendas, however, does not necessarily mean simply adding more staff to corporate citizenship departments, but also harnessing broader resources across the organization, focusing on increased efficiency, and developing partnerships with other companies to maximize impact.”
Used with permission from PPAI Media