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10 of the most generous corporations in 2011

By Dian Vujovich

Giving is a great thing whether you are an individual or a corporation. In fact, I can’t think of anything more rewarding than the act of giving particularly when there are no write-offs involved.


That said, there are tax benefits for all when making charitable donations to qualified non-profit organizations no matter if one is donating a few hundred dollars or  many millions of them. Or,  is a corporation.


A recent special report conducted by The Chronicle Philanthropy looked at corporate giving at 166 large companies. Of those reviewed, 115 companies provided two years’ worth of data. That  data provided the basis for the survey results.


A couple survey  tidbits:  13 of the 115 companies donated more than $100 million in cash; of the companies that increased their giving by more that 50 percent  Starbucks was the most generous with their giving growing by nearly 197-percent; and the two companies that gave the biggest share of their profits in cash were Alcoa (6.2 percent) and Merck & Company (4.2 percent).


The top 10 corporations that  gave the most in 2011 is as follows:


1.Wal-Mart Stores. Last year, Wal-Mart’s donations tallied  $342,350,438 in cash and $616,591,031 in products. Translated the that means  4.1 percent of their 2010 pretax profits were donated in 2011.  Over the next five years, Wal-Mart plans to double its commitment for job training and education for military vets and prove $100 million to help women globularly gain job and entrepreneurial skills. In 2012, their donation levels are expected to remain the same.


2. Goldman Sachs Group. Cash donations tallied $337,077,886 and represented 2.6 percent of this company’s 2010 pretax profits. According to the report, “Nearly $19-million of the company’s cash-giving total matched gifts made by its employees, which is more than 10 times the median total for the amount companies in The Chronicle‘s survey provided to match employee donations. Goldman Sachs matches up to $20,000 per employee per year.” Goldman Sachs declined to provide any info regarding their forecast for giving in 2012.


3. ExxonMobil Corporation. These oil folks were a little stingy. They gave $232,658,037 in cash and  $2,007,943 in products representing less that one-half of 1 percent (0.4 percent) of their 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011. That said, their largest grant was for $27 million and went to National Math and Science Initiative to support AP Training and Incentive and UTeach programs.  In 2012, their giving level is expected to be at the same.


4. Wells Fargo & Company. This financial institution is into giving cash. Of their 2010 pretax profits, 1.1 percent, or $213,481,849, was donated in 2011. The Opportunity Finance Network, a group of non-profit organizations providing banking services in low-income communities received their largest grant of $3.4-million. In 2012 Wells Fargo expects to give more.


5. Chevron Corporation. Chevron also expects to give more this year than it did in 2011. Cash donations for the company totaled $209,280,000, or 0.7 percent, of their 2010 pretax profits. Project Lead the Way received the largest grant last year. It totaled $17.5 million for this group that runs engineering programs in middle and high schools around the country.


6. Bank of America. Because Bank of America lost money; their share of 2010 pretax profits given away could not be calculated.  But this financial institution still donated $208,425,075. In 2012 they expect to donate the same amount.


7. JPMorgan Chase & Company. The Robin Hood Foundation picked up $10 million from them  last year.  Of JPMorgan Chase’s 2010 pretax profits 1.1 percent was gifted. Cash gifts totaled $202,961,667 while non-cash gifts, like art and real estate, amounted to  $70,473,269. In 2012, JPMorgan Chase expects to give more.


In the Number 8, 9 and 10th positions were Target, GE and Citigroup.


Target generously gave away 4.7 percent of their 2010 pretax profits: $146,119,380 was in cash and $63,155,311 in products.General Electric  donated 1 percent of its 2010 pretax profits in 2011; $144,100,000  in cash and  $1,900,000 in products. And Citigroup donated $121,910,534 in cash representing 0.9 percent of its 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011.


For more information about all of the 2011 top 10 corporate givers see: http://tinyurl.com/c6fkmas .

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