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André Solórzano headshot

An Early Look at the CECP Giving in Numbers Survey Data


It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and no, we don’t mean the holidays! We mean the release of the annual Giving in Numbers infographic, which offers the public the very first look at the latest trends that are defining the strategies behind corporate social investments in 2018.

CECP’s Giving in Numbers report – now in its 14th year – offers benchmarking on corporate social investments and data-driven insights for corporate giving officers and industry practitioners. Professionals across all sectors use this data to gauge how corporations invest in society, with topics ranging from cash and in-kind products and services, employee volunteerism and giving, as well as impact measurement. 

While the full report will be released publicly on October 17 (October 16 for companies affiliated with CECP), below we’ve highlighted some of the top-level findings on 2018 corporate contributions from the 2019 Giving in Numbers survey.

  • Community investments remain strong and continue growing: Median total giving in 2018 was $26 billion dollars, an increase of 11 percent (2018 vs. 2016). Also, six out of ten companies increased total giving by at least 2 percent in the last three years.


  • Employee engagement sustained: The average participation rate of employees volunteering at least one hour on-company time increased from 33 percent to 34 percent between 2018 and 2016 in a matched-set of companies.


  • Volunteer programs that allow service flexibility and easier access to employees rose: Offering of flexible schedule and paid-release time increased from 81 percent to 85 percent between 2016 and 2018. In fact, paid-release time (time that employees can take off to volunteer within the community) was the most offered volunteer program in 2018, with 66 percent of companies offering it. Paid-release time continues to be an excellent opportunity for companies to demonstrate to their employees that giving back in the community is a value that the company wants to reward and in turn, employees sign up with gusto. (Popularity of various volunteer programs to come in the final Giving in Numbers report.)


  • Cash vs. non-cash structure remains stable: The distribution of cash versus non-cash, in a matched set of companies that have provided giving data in each of the last three years, has remained steady. Non-cash represents 19 percent of total contributions in 2016 and 2018; most contributions come in the form of cash—81 percent of all contributions.


  • Healthcare industry leads giving growth: With 69 percent of health care companies expanding giving, the health care industry accounted for two thirds of the aggregate increase in giving between 2016 and 2018 across the board. Some of the most common reasons for such increase in contributions are related to the increase of product donations for patient support programs, assistance funds, product donations for disaster relief among global programs, and product donations in response to the opioid crisis, among others. 

So, what do you do with these data and trends? Bring them back to your team and look for opportunities to refine strategy or adjust giving programs. Is there room for more employee volunteering? If your company has a multinational footprint, reach out to offices around the world to discuss global social investment. As CECP’s founder, Paul Newman, replied when asked what companies can do, he said simply, “More. Companies can do more.”

CECP is inspired to see that giving, employee engagement, and volunteerism continue to steadily grow, which comes as no surprise given how readily companies are stepping up to fill the unmet needs of communities around the world.

Check out the latest Giving in Numbers infographic and consider staying in touch with us on social media for the final Giving in Numbers: 2019 Edition report to be released in October.


André Solórzano headshot

As Senior Manager of CECP’s Data Insights team, André translates a rich repository of quantitative data collected from nearly 300 leading companies into actionable insights. These findings are used year-round by CECP’s community of corporate giving professionals to inform their strategy-setting and decision-making. André analyses data and co-authors trends releases such as the Giving in Numbers annual report.

Read more stories by André Solórzano