20 Aug 2015

Corporate Philanthropy and the Companies Giving

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When most people think about philanthropy and giving they think of Bill Gates giving money to help Africa thrive or others pledging to give their wealth to charity before or shortly after they die. However, there is another important form of philanthropy that accounts for billions of dollars being given to charity every year.

Corporate philanthropy plays an important role in a democratic society. Charitable donations amount to an average of over $15 billion a year. Some common types of corporate philanthropy include programs that match donations made by employees or customers, volunteer grant programs, community grants and simple giving.

These are some of the best corporate givers:

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has the second largest corporate foundation in terms of giving. Wells Fargo aims to help the communities where they have branches saying:

“strive to strengthen financial knowledge and opportunities for our customers and communities “

They donate to non-profits, encourage employee volunteerism and help provide loans for community development.


When CEO Tim Cook took over for Steve Jobs in 2011 he had some enormous shoes to fill. Cook was not intimidated and had no problem making some quick changes. One of those was creating a donation matching program which matches up to $10,000 per year for their employees.

General Electric

General Electric was one of the first to engage in corporate philanthropy when they created the first corporate matching program in 1954. General Electric invest heavily in technology to help improve community access to education and health programs. They are one of the top five corporate givers.


Wal-Mart may receive a lot of negative attention for providing low wages and little health insurance to its employees, but it is one of the top three corporate givers. The Wal-Mart Foundation gave over $180 million to charity in 2013. Like Wells Fargo, Wal-Mart aims to aims to help build the communities they serve through donations and grants.

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