How generous are Nevadans toward charities?

Photo showing a pair of outstretched hands cupping a paper heart

The annual report on Nevada Corporate Giving to charities, by the Moonridge Group, in coordination with the Greater Good Council and the Nevada Corporate Giving Council, with statistical assistance provided by Applied Analysis, was released this month along with a supplement on How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Philanthropic Giving in Nevada.

This year’s report, the seventh iteration of the annual publication, attempts to measure and promote Nevada businesses’ efforts and their community partners’ in a wide range of social issues facing the state. The information presented in the report is derived from an annual survey of Nevada companies. It addresses their social investments during the 2018 calendar year or their most recently completed fiscal year.

Overall statewide corporate giving in 2018 was $525 million, which equated to $429.00 per employee and 0.27% of corporate revenues. Those numbers increased by 9.7% over the 2017 numbers.

Encouraging Volunteers

Many companies offer employee volunteer programs to encourage company pride and boost morale and teamwork. In 2017, 53.0% of the companies surveyed offered such programs, and in 2018 that number increased to 57.1%. In total, employees spent 152,200 hours volunteering in their communities through such programs in 2018, an average of 1.8 hours per employee. Applied statewide, this would equate to over 2.2 million volunteer hours.

Those who offer volunteer programs also have various incentives and ways that employees could participate and be rewarded.

During the survey, companies were asked their motivations for giving. The respondents were given five motivational reasons and to rank them on a scale from 1 to 5. The numbers were calculated to find a mean score, and the motivational categories were ranked as follows.

Deciding Where to Donate

Over the past ten years, charity types have jockeyed for position in the quest for dollars. For a long time, health and social services dominated the pie chart, then in 2016, ran a distant second at 26% to education, which received 44.2% of the funding. At that time, one hundred present of the companies surveyed cited education as a key element of corporate philanthropy. This reflected the belief that education is the key to a better workforce and to attracting a more diverse economy.

However, in 2018, health and social services type organizations (35.0%) were back at the top of the list. Not far behind is education with K-12 generating (19.0%) and higher education (7.6%). Rounding out the current list is community infrastructure (6.3%), civic and public affairs (5.8%), arts and culture (5.5%), environment (3.5%), sports (3.2%), disaster relief (2.7%), and other/unknown (11.4%).

The Decision Makers

While nearly all corporate philanthropic decisions were once made at the “C-Suite” level, the trend has changed. Of the companies surveyed, only 35% of the decisions were reported as being made by the CEO, CFO, or COO. Many companies have adopted a foundation leadership group or philanthropic committee to select the giving focus areas, and this survey showed a tie of 18% each. Other decision-makers include the board of directors (9%), employees (9%), and other (12%).

Giving During A Pandemic

While the 2020 numbers won’t be compiled until next year, a COVID-19 pandemic survey was given to the usual past respondents. The overall response gave hope, showed stability and flexibility, and revealed a strategy to make their donations count where needed.

Although 42.11% of corporate funders plan to decrease funding, 55.26% of corporate funders will either increase their funding or their funding will remain the same. On a similar note, 32.00% of family foundations/individual philanthropists plan to decrease funding, but 55.00% reported they will either increase their funding or their funding will remain the same.

When asked about the number of causes they intend to support, family foundations/individual philanthropists responded that they would support “More causes than last year” at nearly double the rate of corporate funders (40% vs. 21.05%).

Concerning the focus areas, 34.2% of corporate funders reported they would likely remain the same, while 28.9% would narrow, and 26.3% would broaden. The remaining 10.5% were not sure. However, 36% of the individual/family foundations said they would broaden their focus, 32% would remain the same, and 24% would narrow, leaving 8% unsure.

Many times, corporate giving also comes with restrictions on how the charity organization can use the money. During these challenging times, 31.6% of the corporate funders and 36% of the individual/family foundations said that they would lift restrictions on past grants awarded. But 52.5% of the corporate funders and 48% of the individual/family foundations were unsure about lifting restrictions. Both groups (16%) indicated they would not lift restrictions.

Non-profit organizations rely on the relationships they build with donors. Likewise, donors become comfortable with the fact that the organizations they choose will use the money received for the intended purpose. For non-profits, expanding their donor base is often challenging because it means either expanding a new donor’s budget or getting a share of the already established budget. In the survey, companies were asked, “Will you be giving to new non-profit organizations, focusing on ones with whom you have an established giving history, or both?”

Over half of the funders surveyed responded that they plan to fund both new non-profit organizations and ones they have established relationships with (corporate funders at 55.26%; family foundations/ individual philanthropists at 56%). This could suggest that funders are taking a blended approach to which organizations they choose to fund.

Also, 86.84% of corporate funders and 88% of family foundations/individual philanthropists will either focus on established relationships or give to both new organizations and ones with whom funders already have established relationships. This high rate of responses that funders will continue giving to organizations with whom they have established history illustrates impressive loyalty to the organizations’ funders already give.

At Business Finance Corporation, we believe in supporting the local community and have organizations to which we contributed. When businesses need financial assistance, we offer a quick solution for turning accounts receivables into cash. Contact us on the web at https://bfc.vegas/ or call 702-947-3800.

Your Partner in Success,

David Cabral