New CAF America Report Shows the Importance of American Corporate Philanthropy in Responding to COVID-19

CAF America

Nearly 72% of 73 global Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 corporations and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have increased their contributions to charities amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a CAF America survey conducted in partnership with CyberGrants and The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP). The report, which can be found here, is the fourth in a series of monthly reports conducted by CAF America to amplify the challenges, needs, and resilience of the philanthropic sector during the global pandemic, and the first from the corporate philanthropy perspective.

“Three months of collecting data from over 1,700 global charitable organizations has allowed us to tell the story of unfolding trends amid the disruption and uncertainty of the pandemic. We learned how nonprofits are workinghard 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,” said Ted Hart, CAF America President and CEO. “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.”

Results show nearly 100% of corporations allocated some or all charitable funding to US-based nonprofits across major categories of need including health and well-being, disaster relief, and education. 59% gave internationally, advising their support to 93 countries with disaster relief, health, and food security as the top-three areas of concern. The report shows this global pandemic will trigger even further change to corporate giving programs with 43% of corporations intending to revise their disaster relief strategies and 26% intending to expand their employee engagement programming. 

Despite efforts to slow the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, 88.71% of corporate respondents said they fear some charitable organizations will only be able to continue operations for less than a year under the current conditions before being forced to close their doors. Last month, two-thirds of charities responding to our COVID-19 survey indicated they felt they were running out of time, with one-third expecting to be forced to close down within the next 12 months if the situation remained unchanged.

Hart and CAF America Senior Vice President of External Affairs Jessie Krafft shared data and research findings from the new report during CAF America’s July 23 webinar, The Voice of Corporate Philanthropy in Response to COVID-19 Worldwide; the report is available at cafamerica.org/covid19report/.

Top Highlights

CAF America collected responses from 73 global Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 corporations and SMEs to learn the impact of the pandemic on their philanthropic giving. Key findings include:

  1. 72% of respondents are increasing their contributions to charities, with one-quarter of the surveyed corporations giving 10-25% more and over 12% contributing 50% more.

 

  1. As a result of the pandemic, corporations have broadened their philanthropic strategy to include additional areas of focus over the past three months:
  2. 77.4% provided immediate relief funding
  3. 52.1% funded new grantees
  4. 43.6% increased number of grants
  5. 32.3% increased employee engagement in determining strategy
  6. 30.9% shifted strategy to include a broader issue focus
  7. 16.9% shifted strategy to include a broader geographic focus

 

  1. Corporations are demonstrating flexibility to grantee needs with 65% offering to change grant purposes and to redirect funds to the most immediate needs. Additional flexible offerings include:
  2. 54.1% offering grant extensions to provide more time to implement current projects, expend the grant funds, or postpone reporting
  3. 48.8% provided operational funding, which allows the use of funds for salaries, rent, utilities, technology, etc.

 

  1. Some corporate respondents reported obstacles in providing expedited support to grantees in the past three months, including: 
  2. 37.1% reported problems due to grantees’ inability to perform their work as a result of suspended programs or operation
  3. 27.1% indicated difficulties transferring funds to grantees due to logistics
  4. 24.2% cited challenges conducting due diligence in a timely manner
  5. 20% said they had trouble identifying new grantee partners

 

  1. 85.7% of corporations continue to provide funding to address critical needs with 7% exceeding their giving budgets for the year. For the upcoming fiscal year, two-thirds of corporations anticipate maintaining current levels of giving or increasing their funding.

About CAF America

A leader in international philanthropy, since 1992 CAF America (Charities Aid Foundation of America) has been assisting corporations, foundations, and individuals in making strategic, effective, and tax-advantaged gifts internationally and domestically. Whether supporting organizations working in developing countries, providing swift responses to major disasters, or helping build connections between global communities, CAF America turns donors’ visions into impact. CAF America’s worldwide reach translates into more than $1 billion in donor funds and over 1.8 million eligible organizations in 110 countries. For more information about CAF America visit cafamerica.org.

About Our Partners

The Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals (ACCP) is the membership

organization for companies committed to corporate citizenship, and a career-long resource for purpose-driven professionals.

CyberGrants is the leading provider of SaaS solutions for corporate social responsibility (CSR), employee giving and volunteer engagement, offering innovative software and services in the most secure and efficient way.

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