Search blog

Cracking into corporate giving

People sitting in a meeting room with one person presenting at the front.

Corporations have the resources to provide significant funding to nonprofits and are becoming a growing part of many organizations’ revenue streams. So how do you tap into these funds?  We’re here to help you crack into the corporate giving options available to you.  

Some background: Corporations donated over $20 billion in 2021. This number has been steadily increasing over the past few years, growing 23.8% between 2020 and 2021 according to Giving USA.  

Given this strong growth in giving by corporations, now may be the time to build a corporate giving program at your organization. 

Let’s dive in.

What types of support do corporations give? 

Most people already know that corporations give grants.  However, there are a number of other ways that corporations provide support to nonprofits:  

  • In-kind gifts are contributions by corporations of goods or services, other than cash grants. 
  • Sponsorships are a form of advertising in which companies pay to be associated with certain nonprofit events.  
  • Cause-related marketing is a mutually beneficial collaboration designed to promote the corporation’s sales and the nonprofit’s cause. 
  • Pro bono services are when a nonprofit gets help from experts at a corporation.  
  • Workplace giving programs encourage a company’s employees to give their time and/or money to a charity by matching their efforts with dollars and other means of support. 

What kinds of companies might support my organization? 

One sign that a company might support your organization and mission is whether it has taken a pledge of corporate social responsibility (CSR), meaning it has an active interest in how its company affects the environment and the well-being of society. CSR includes corporate philanthropy, but also environmental issues, employee engagement, and corporate governance. 

Keep in mind that most companies tend to favor: 

  • Locations where they operate. They often like to support nonprofits that improve their communities. 
  • Organizations or causes that their employees support. Sometimes companies base their giving on a CEO’s favorite cause. 
  • Causes that align with their business interests. 

How do I find corporate funders? 

To find corporate funders and details about their giving, use Foundation Directory, our searchable database of grantmakers. You can subscribe, or visit a Candid Community partner near you to use the resources for free. For more help with corporate fundraising, Candid Learning’s Introduction to Corporate Giving online training is a great place to start. 

Remember, businesses usually look to benefit from their philanthropy. So, when reaching out to potential funders, it is important to focus on the company’s interests and how your project will help them achieve their goals. For more information on developing corporate relationships, see our blog, “Corporate Relationships in Action: Unlocking Corporate Needs and Interests.” 

To learn more, visit Candid’s knowledge base for the full article on corporate giving.  

Have a question? Ask our team of online librarians at [email protected] or via chat (available 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday-Friday).     

The information provided in this article is intended to offer general guidance on corporate giving. Candid recommends speaking with a fundraising consultant if you need specific advice.  


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.