Fundraising: Corporate Funding

Updated: 6.1.06

The primary goal of corporations and businesses is to generate profits. Increasingly, corporate executives and business owners are identifying ways in which their philanthropic contributions can help them meet financial goals. Businesses have long acted as "good citizens" by contributing to charities in communities in which their employees live or to organizations serving populations that overlap with their customer base. While most continue that tradition, they are increasingly spending their philanthropic monies, as well as additional funds from their operating budgets, on endeavors that benefit the community while simultaneously supporting their business goals.

The Independent Sector estimated that corporations donate 5 to 6 percent (or $10 billion) of the $200 billion given annually to charities from private sources. However, that number is misleading. Corporate philanthropy is difficult to measure because funds can come from a variety of places, including departmental budgets, which can be hard to track. Some estimates place corporate giving at $40 to $50 billion annually.

The Basics

There are three major avenues into corporate giving:

The advantages of corporate fundraising are that companies:

Download the entire Developing a Fundraising Plan: Corporate Funding for a detailed step-by-step process on how to tap into corporations to help you with your fundraising efforts.