The New Corporate Philanthropy

Is U.S. business cutting back on charity?


As print and TV ads frequently boast, corporate America takes pride in supporting worthy causes, from fighting breast cancer to feeding the hungry. Indeed, American firms donated $8.5 billion in cash and products in 1996, making them the most charitable in the world. Yet the percentage of corporate earnings set aside for philanthropy has fallen steadily for the past 10 years, even as corporate profits have tripled. Meanwhile, government cutbacks in social services are creating new demands for emergency food and shelter. But there is hope. Experts think America is on the verge of a new golden age of philanthropy – but they expect most of the aid to come from individuals and foundations, not from corporations.

IBM and other computer companies mainly give charitable donations ...

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