When we started Confluence, we really needed to put into perspective what our community, Colorado, is doing compared to other states. How much community support from corporations does Colorado have in comparison?
Using data from The Grantsmanship Center, we were able to see the total number and the names of businesses that have corporate giving programs in each state. The Grantsmanship Center defines corporate giving programs as having "either direct giving programs, foundations, sponsorship programs, in-kind donations, product donations, volunteer programs, or matching gift programs." The Grantsmanship Center pulls this information from 990s, Guidestar, or each company's website.
We also realized that the data may be under-reporting the total corporate giving for the state in two capacities. First, The Grantsmanship Center had all corporate giving information attributed to where the corporate headquarters was located. We knew several of these programs carry out their CSR initiatives all across the country and world (such as Walmart). We knew that this could skew what we wanted to achieve, but detailed numbers of businesses initiatives for each area were difficult to find. Second, not all corporate giving programs may be listed but this may be a reason for us to show how businesses need help in reporting and publicizing their giving initiatives.
Another realization we saw when observing the data is that some states have better pro-business laws and why some states have more corporations headquartered there. We discussed that this can be a factor, but does not deter corporations from being created nor designing a corporate giving program.
We needed to move forward with these factors in mind and that our question needed to change to how many companies from one state practice CSR? The more businesses in a state that practices CSR the more reliance the community has on businesses.
With this data and our assumptions, we thought the easiest way to compare Colorado to the rest of the US was to map it out.
We knew this map was a solid starting point, but the data needed to be manipulated to be able to compare states on a relative scale. We wanted to see the corporate giving data as a support basis for the people, so we moved forward with our next map of determining how many corporate giving programs there were for every 500,000 people in that state.
We also found that California (3), New York (3), and Texas (2) have a much lower ratio of corporations with giving programs than a majority of the US despite having a higher total of corporations. The western United States shows improvement with South Dakota (6), Nebraska (4), and Kansas (4) and the upper northeast has six states with at least five corporate giving programs per 500,000 people.
So what does this all mean?
The more corporate giving programs per 500,000 people, the more companies in an area that understand how important their role is in the community. The more companies that give, the more support charities receive. The more support charities receive, the more the people those charities work with can benefit and acquire services they need.
People rely on businesses for jobs, food, fun -> life. Using CSR is just one way to help support more of those core living services that many charities help provide. Business has a vital role in helping life progress and as discussed last week, people will reward those businesses with greater support for their products/services.
What does this mean for Colorado?
According to the US Census Bureau, Colorado's population grew approximately 4.8 percent from 2010 to 2013, which is twice the national rate (2.4 percent). There are currently 36 corporations with giving programs that support the 5.27 million people in the state; approximately three corporations with giving programs for every 500,000 people.
If the current three-year growth rate were to continue, Colorado's population would surpass 5.5 million people in 2016 and would not need any more corporate giving programs to be established if it were to maintain the same ration per 500,000 people. It would take another 52 corporations (88 total) to reach the 8-10 range that the states with the highest amount of corporate giving programs.
With these maps, it serves us as a good starting point for the future where we can use them to:
- Compare states by number of corporations with a giving program as a percent of total corporations in the state
- Increases and decreases of corporate giving programs per state from year to year
For now though, click on the interactive map below to look through the information for each state.
Interactive Corporate Giving Map: Click on a State
Brian Phipps is the Founder and a Strategist at Confluence in Denver, Colorado that consults small and mid-size businesses to increase their positive impacts and community connections in their corporate giving and social responsibility practices. To find out more go to www.ConfluenceLLC.com.