In response to the coronavirus pandemic, seven in ten U.S. corporate funders increased their charitable contributions, while 43.7 percent awarded more grants, a report from the Charities Aid Foundation of America (CAF America) finds.
Based on a survey of seventy-three corporations and corporate foundations conducted between June 25 and July 10 in partnership with CyberGrants and the Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals, the report, The voice of corporate philanthropy in response to COVID-19 worldwide (13 pages, PDF), found that 71.8 percent of respondents had ramped up their giving over the last three months, including 12.7 percent of respondents who reported a year-over-year increase for the first quarter of more than 50 percent, while 19.7 percent said they gave about the same and 8.5 percent gave less. Nearly all respondents — which ranged from small and midsize enterprises to global Fortune 100 companies — reported giving to a U.S.-based charity, while 58.9 percent made grants internationally, with food security and agriculture, disaster relief, health and well-being, and education topping the list of most widely supported issue areas.
According to the report, 30.1 percent of corporate funders in the survey broadened their issue area focus, while 18.3 percent narrowed their focus; 52.1 percent funded new grantees, while 5.6 percent canceled funding to some existing grantees; 77.5 percent provided immediate relief funding, while 46.5 percent provided regular project funding; and 32.4 percent stepped up employee engagement in determining strategy. The survey also found that nine in ten respondents offered greater flexibility to existing grantees, including allowing funds to be redirected to other projects (65.3 percent) or operating costs (48.8 percent), extending grant periods (54.2 percent), providing need-based funding (45.8 percent), and streamlining application requirements (26.4 percent). Some 70 percent of respondents cited barriers to giving, including grantees having to suspend programs or operations and funders being unable to conduct due diligence on potential grantees (24.3 percent) or to identify new partners (20 percent).
“Three months of collecting data from over seventeen hundred global charitable organizations has allowed us to tell the story of unfolding trends amid the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic,” said CAF America president and CEO Ted Hart. “We learned how nonprofits are working hard to keep their doors open, and the corporate donor perspective is of critical value to inform the global response. This new report highlights how nimble corporate America has been and how they have significantly increased giving both domestically and internationally these past three months. Furthermore, the report highlights the growing flexibility in their approach to giving. American corporations are listening and it is making a difference. They are redirecting their philanthropic support so charitable organizations can meet the needs of their communities.”