CECP Giving in Numbers Survey Reveals Corporate Social Investments Up a Record 41% the Last Three Years

CECP Giving in Numbers Survey Reveals Corporate Social Investments Up a Record 41% the Last Three Years

CECP Giving in Numbers Survey Reveals Corporate Social Investments Up a Record 41% the Last Three Years

93% of Surveyed Companies Dedicated Resources to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

NEW YORK, October 28, 2021 - Reflecting the unprecedented experience of 2020, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose®’s (CECP) Giving in NumbersTM report chronicles the changes in societal investment at the world’s largest companies, with a focus on COVID-19 and social justice efforts. Most notably, corporate social investments were up 41%, due to health care companies’ rapid pivoting to provide product donations to communities in need. A total of 230 companies took part in the survey and nearly all (93%) are dedicating a part of their Total Social Investments—or social investment resources such as operational expenses, staff time, technological resources, and more—towards Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). 

Giving in Numbers is the premier industry survey and research, providing standard-setting criteria in a go-to guide that has defined the field and advanced the movement. Over 20 years, CECP has created the largest and most historical data set on trends in the industry, shared by more than 585 multi-billion-dollar companies, representing more than $312 billion in corporate social investments. The report is embraced by professionals across all sectors globally to understand how corporations invest in society, with topics ranging from cash and in-kind/product, employee volunteerism and giving, and impact measurement.

Additional key findings include:

  • Corporate purpose is proliferating among employees with 75% of companies reporting that all or most employees know its purpose statement. 
  • The median ratio of COVID-19 contributions as a percentage of total community investments was 16.6%.
  • Non-cash contributions experienced the highest increase in median dollar value among all funding types (93%) in the last five years from US$4.8 million in 2016 to US US$9.2 million in 2020. 
  • Virtual volunteering is on the rise with the study finding U.S. virtual volunteering increased from only 38% of surveyed companies offering it in 2018 to 87% in 2020.  
  • 78% of surveyed companies consider the investor perspective when reporting in the company’s sustainability report. 
  • 54% of companies reported in 2020 that ESG-related key performance indicators (KPIs) and/or metrics were requested by a colleague internally in preparation for company quarterly earnings calls. 

“We’re encouraged about how companies stepped up in 2020, particularly in DEI, since CECP believes it’s in leading CEOs’ and companies’ best interest to support a more safe, inclusive, and equitable society,” said Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP. “The Giving in Numbers report provides evidence that companies are taking action to invest in solutions after a heavy year of racial injustice and economic hardship for many.”

Giving in Numbers focuses on the important role businesses play in shifting societal norms when embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. The report includes seven case studies on what this looks like in practice at some of the world’s largest companies. For example, due to COVID-19 exacerbating the digital divide in communities of color and rural and low-income communities, Cisco is working to improve digital inclusion through its Cisco Networking Academy, an IT skills and career-building program offered to learning institutions and individuals worldwide that has impacted the lives of over 15 million students, across 180 countries since its inception. Between 2005 and 2021, 2.9 million students who participated in the program’s career certification or IT Essentials courses report that Networking Academy helped them obtain a new job. 

The report also connects to additional CECP thought leadership in its Centers of Excellence, among which includes DEI. As an advisor and trusted partner, CECP teamed up with ACCP, Council on Foundations, and Points of Light to facilitate a moment to reflect with the leaders of companies. Entitled, “Racial Equity: Moving Companies from Promise to Action,” the two-day event featured community leaders and social justice voices to help corporate professionals better listen to their partners, lead with humility, hold themselves accountable, and commit to a long process of ending systemic racism.

Key insights from the Giving in Numbers Survey of 2020 data were released at the virtual CECP Summit in May 2021. CECP also created an accompanying infographic illustrating top-level findings from Giving in Numbers. These data are also a vital part of CECP’s newest trends release, Investing in Society, the corporate sector’s annual purpose report.

CECP-affiliated companies access custom analysis of the data at no additional cost through CECP’s secure online portal or by contacting CECP

CECP is grateful to Citi Foundation, Newman's Own Foundation, PwC US, The Travelers Companies, Inc., and USAA for their support in making Giving in Numbers possible.

Note to Editors: the report author is available for comment and a more in-depth look at the community investment data collected from 230 of the world’s largest companies.

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