Corporate giving, also known as corporate philanthropy, refers to the act of for-profit companies donating some of their profits or resources to charity. Donations may come from the company directly, or through a separate, company-sponsored foundation or public charity.
Learn now about corporate fundraising with Introduction to Corporate Giving, available free as an online webinar or an in-person class.
For more in-depth instruction, Securing Corporate Partnerships is our daylong, fee-based class that will help you understand how corporate donors differ from foundations, and where you can make inroads to gain their support and long-term commitment.
Giving interests often complement the corporation’s business interests, and are usually limited to programs that benefit their employees, their families, or communities where the company conducts business. Geography plays a significant role in corporate grantmaking, and employee matching gifts programs are increasingly common vehicles for giving.
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Cash donations are not the only type of corporate support. Indeed, corporations increasingly prefer to provide in-kind support, like donated goods, services, use of corporate facilities, and access to staff expertise. Thus, if your funding request has options for in-kind support, this may help to start a relationship with a corporate funder.
Grantseekers should remember that corporations, unlike foundations and other charitable groups, do not exist to give away money. Their allegiance is to their shareholders, customers, employees and, most of all, to the bottom line. When approaching corporate grantmakers, always consider the company’s interests. A proposal to this type of funder should emphasize how support for your project will help the company achieve its own goals.
To find corporate funders and details about their giving programs, please see:
- Foundation Directory Online, our searchable database of U.S. grantmakers. Subscribe online to search now.
- Corporate Giving Online, our searchable database of corporate funders. Subscribe online to search now.
- The National Directory of Corporate Giving, our print publication detailing corporate funders.
Visit our libraries and Cooperating Collections nationwide to use these resources for free. (Corporate Giving Online is not available at all Cooperating Collections. Check for availability.)
Selected resources below may also be helpful.
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