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Corporate philanthropy takes two forms: corporate giving programs and corporate foundations. Direct giving programs comprise 77.5% of corporate philanthropy; corporate foundations, as endowed by a parent corporation, comprise the rest.

 

Corporate Direct Giving Programs:

Corporate direct giving programs are not separate entities under the law; thus, they do not need to file a Form 990 or a Form 990PF and no not need make other statutory public disclosures. Instead of endowments, they may include employee matching gifts and in-kind donations as part of their grant making efforts. Some of them will support programs that fall outside the scope of a corporate foundation.

 

Corporate Foundations:

Corporate foundations are discrete legal entities, separate from their corporate sponsors. They may be organized as public charities or as private foundations and as such they must file a Form 990PF and observe other statutory public disclosure requirements. They build their endowments in more prosperous years and draw them down in less prosperous ones. Corporate business interests commonly guide their giving.

 

Priorities:

One of key facet of all corporate giving is its links to the corporation’s business interests. Consequently, applicants benefit if they are located in communities where the corporation has facilities, and if their services benefit the corporation’s employees or their families. They can also benefit if they demonstrate how their project or initiative will advance the corporation’s bottom line of profit making.

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