Key Insights from CECP’s “Giving in Numbers” Report

Deb Bauer January 9, 2018 Employee Engagement

Are you wondering?

  • How my community engagement team stacks up against other companies in terms of resources?
  • What types of volunteer programs are most widely used, and which ones drive the most engagement?
  • What percentage of revenue or pre-tax profit are other companies in my industry give?

All this information and much more is freely available in a fabulous report called Giving in Numbers, published annually by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), in association with The Conference Board.



What is the CECP?

The CECP is a CEO-led coalition that believes:

a company’s social strategy—how it engages with key stakeholders including employees, communities, investors, and customers—determines company success.


Academy award-winning actor and philanthropist Paul Newman and other business leaders founded CECP in 1999. The committee has grown into a movement of more than 200 of the world’s largest companies, representing over 13 million employees and  $18.6 billion in societal investment. CECP helps companies transform their social strategies through networking, benchmarking, awareness building, and recognition. There is an incredible array of useful information and data on their website, but the two reports I look forward to most every year are Giving in Numbers and Giving Around the Globe.


Giving in Numbers 2017 Report

The 2017 edition of Giving in Numbers includes key philanthropic data from 258 companies. While many are large corporations, including brands we all recognize, don’t assume that a company the size of yours isn’t well represented in the report. 54 companies sampled this year had fewer than 10,000 employees, and both service (163) and manufacturing (95) companies are included. Virtually every industry is represented, and much of the information is broken out by industry type, which will allow you to easily share relevant data with your leaders.

Some interesting data points this year:

  1. Companies that increased total giving by at least 10% between 2014 and 2016 saw increases in revenue and pre-tax profit, as opposed to all other companies, which actually saw decreases in both metrics. While CECP reminds us that this does not suggest causation, it does imply a relationship between financial performance and addressing the needs of societal stakeholders. (See Giving in Numbers, page 7)
  2. Total giving increased: Nearly half (48%) of 209 companies’ median total giving in a three-year matched set between 2014 and 2016 increased by 2.3%. (page 8)
  3. Education (K–12 and higher) continues to be the top program area to which companies allocate their contributions. (page 11)
  4. Culture and Arts was the program area that saw the largest cash giving increases. (page 12)
  5. The average employee volunteer participation rate at all companies surveyed was 31% (volunteering for at least one hour of company time), the same as 2015. (page 16)
  6. Measuring outcomes became a more widespread practice: In a three-year matched set, more companies measured societal outcomes and/or impacts of at least one grant (85% of companies in 2014 to 87% in 2016). Most commonly, companies focused their measurement efforts on strategic programs. (pages 26 and 27)


You’ll unearth your own favorite stats — information that will help you make your philanthropic business case more easily and generally keep on top of trends both in your industry and incorporate giving in general.


Other Resources Not to Miss

  1. The Year-Over-Year Giving Template you can use to see trends in your own programs. (page 34)
  2. The Giving in Numbers infographic, for those who just want the highlights.
  3. And for those interested in what companies headquartered around the world are doing, or what US companies are doing internationally, see Giving Around the Globe.


For a programmatic look at corporate giving, don’t forget the YourCause Industry Review, a semi-annual presentation of key CSR data compiled from more than 150 YourCause clients and their 7 million employees in our database.


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Happy reading!