The big news in the recently released Trends report on philanthropic giving from Ketchum Canada, is that Canadian corporations intend to hold the line on their charitable giving this year. For the past 20 years, Canadian corporate giving as a share of profits has been slightly on the increase. Each year Canadian corporations have put more actual dollars into philanthropic giving and also dug deeper into their pockets. This year they going to have to dig much deeper just to keep the dollar amount at the same level in the companies surveyed in the quarterly report.
Many companies suggested that their multi-year commitments meant that they had an inability to do much to respond to new requests for funding. At the same time companies report many more new requests coming across their desks as charities feel the pinch.
Austere times have meant a shift in priorities for corporations. Galas are going to find it more difficult to sell corporate tables as company heads find it difficult to justify thousands for black tie dinners when they are laying off staff and the charitable needs of healthcare, housing and poverty relief are in the news daily. Many charities are responding with changing their fundraising events or radically scaling them back.
Arts, culture and sports will be the losers as corporations continue to migrate funding to education, healthcare, and community programs.
Accountability is a key word in corporate funding these days. Corporations are selecting priority areas for their charitable dollars and now more than ever, projects seeking funding need to demonstrate how their activities are a fit with corporate goals. Reporting back to the funders on the reach of their corporate dollars–while always an important step in fundraising–is not an absolute requirement for ever being funded again by the corporation.
The 7 tips for non-profits in tough times is well worth reading this small quarterly.