Research Outline

Insights on Selection of Causes for Donation


To find surveys or research that feature data and statistics supporting the position that corporations and people are more likely to donate to causes that are personal or they have a memory associated with.

Early Findings

  • The Corporate Giving Survey (CGS) 2017, conducted by the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center, finds that 49% of the companies that engaged in philanthropy and 42% of companies that volunteer said that interest from senior management drove their respective giving activities.
  • The survey also found that companies with senior management actively and personally involved in giving were more likely to engage in regular giving (27%) at least twice a year than companies without (19%).
  • According to the Canada Survey of Business Contributions to Community (CSBCC), 50% of corporations contribute because it helps them to build healthy and strong communities and that is good for business; 48% of corporations are motivated to give because it fits with their values and culture and 45% of corporations give back because they believe it is the right thing to do.
  • According to a recent survey conducted by O.C. Tanner, charitable giving is rarely a key focus for any company, but organizing and promoting charitable events among employees results in significantly improved employee engagement.
  • The survey found that when asked if their organization has a clear purpose, respondents who answered “yes” jumped from 62 percent for companies that don’t organize holiday charitable events, to 84 percent for companies that offer multiple holiday charity events.
  • As was also found during the survey, seventy-eight percent of corporate employees who are provided multiple charitable opportunities express support for their company’s values
  • When it comes to some of the biggest corporate philanthropic leaders, it is seen that most of them donate to multiple causes representing a wide variety of interest areas.
  • For example, Warren Buffet’s Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, named after his late wife, supports causes such as reproductive health, family planning, education and conservation.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation donates to support a range of agricultural, health and policy causes, including helping developing countries combat malaria and support basic nutrition.
  • Michael Bloomberg and his foundation donates to a wide variety of environmental, educational and arts causes.
  • One of his foundations, Vibrant Oceans, also helps support the creation and maintenance of sustainable fish populations worldwide.
  • The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation makes regular donations to support projects relating to urban education, child health and family economic stability.
  • As published in the Guardian, it was found as a result of a series of experiments that people are much more responsive to charitable pleas that feature a single, identifiable beneficiary.
  • It was also found that when it comes to charitable giving, people are often ruled by their hearts and not their heads.
  • Importantly, the research also showed that giving is fundamentally a social act.
  • As far as the role of personal causes in driving a donation is concerned, study shows that people give significantly more to their university if the person calling and asking for their donation is their former roommate.
  • It is also observed from surveys that if a donor sees that the donor before him/her has made a large donation, he/she makes a larger donation themselves.
In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals
Prepared By
Agnidip M.
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