Do Corporate Grantmakers Care More About the Poor Than Other Foundations?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Do Corporate Grantmakers Care More About the Poor Than Other Foundations?
Corporate boardrooms are not known to be reliable benefactors of populations in greatest need. And yet, many of the nation’s most recognizable corporations – the Wells Fargo Foundation, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, ExxonMobil Foundation, the Walmart Foundation and others – have ratcheted up their giving to underserved communities in the last decade, some by as much as 40 percent.
According to the latest available data, grantmaking by corporate foundations to underserved communities – racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, women and girls, LGBTQ people, people living with AIDS and others – increased dramatically from 2004 to 2012. Corporate funders now outspend their independent, family and community foundation counterparts in giving to these important populations. Between 2004 and 2012, the average amount given by corporate funders to underserved communities more than doubled, while the average amount given by non-corporate funders increased by about 50 percent. Additionally, 48 percent of corporate foundations’ grant dollars went toward underserved communities, compared to just 38 percent from all other foundations. And three times as many corporate foundations allocated at least 50 percent of their annual giving to such grants in 2012 compared to 2004. This is a threshold that may be used to identify those grantmakers most committed to serving the public good....
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