American philosopher and naturalist Henry David Thoreau wrote that “Philanthropy is almost the only virtue which is sufficiently appreciated by mankind.” The Nevada Corporate Giving Council released its third annual Nevada Corporate Philanthropy Report which confirms that Nevada corporations rise above the national average in providing support to local and statewide charitable organizations while also encouraging management and employees to personally engage in community causes.
The report, compiled from a statewide survey and extensive research conducted by Jeremy Aguero of Applied Analysis in Las Vegas, reveals that Nevada companies gave an estimated $100.9 million in financial assistance to non-profit organizations in the past year, representing 0.21% of total revenue, which is well above the national average of 0.13%.
“During the past three years, since the inaugural Corporate Giving report, we have been tracking trends in both the levels of giving and the areas of support,” said Aguero. “The outcomes have proven to be exceptionally informative. On the one hand, the study provides evidence that Nevada has turned the corner since the Great Recession, with the focus in charitable giving moving from basic social service needs to education and workforce development programs.”
In 2014, 34.1% of corporate donations were given to health and social services organizations, with a total of 11.6 % being directed to K-12 and higher education. In 2015, the report shows that health and social services levels dropped to 26%, while K-12 education jumped to 18.4% and higher education support rose to 25.8% of total giving.
“This shift reflects increased support of education programs which will assist diversification efforts that in turn may help mitigate the severity of a similar economic downturn such as the one we recently experienced,” said Aguero.
A 2014 and 2015 comparison of Nevada Corporate giving objectives in specific issue areas found:
Health/Social Services 34.1% 26.0%
Arts and Culture 12.8% 5.6%
Civic and Public Affairs 12.2% 10.2%
Education K-12 10.3% 18.4%
Education Higher 1.3% 25.8%
Environment 6.2% 6.6%
Community Infrastructure 2.2% 3.2%
Other 20.9% 4.2%
The 2015 Nevada Corporate Giving Report also reflected a growing trend toward employee engagement as part of the corporate community engagement strategy. Seven out of 10 companies offer volunteer resources to their employees, and more than 90% of these also offered company-sponsored days or events. Nearly half of all responding companies also provided paid time off from work and other pro bono opportunities. All of these efforts produced 445,000 of volunteer hours from employees of surveyed Nevada companies, a dramatic increase from last year’s 260,000 volunteer hours.
“Corporate volunteer programs are as important as financial programs, providing a tremendous asset for our community,” said Julie Murray, CEO at Moonridge Group Philanthropy Catalysts, one of the sponsors of the Nevada Corporate Giving Council. “Volunteerism programs engage workers in community development initiatives, they provide much needed resources to agencies desperately in need of help, and they foster a culture of philanthropy and community service at all levels of the organization.”
The report is designed not only to measure annual giving trends, but also to encourage and inspire all Nevada companies to create and expand their own community service involvement. “We wanted to start a substantive exchange among our leaders about the benefits of corporate social responsibility,” said Michael Brown, president of Barrick Mining North America and one of the founders of the Nevada Corporate Giving Council. “We will use these studies to promote effective models for tracking how we donate, streamlining the way that donations are reported to help us to expand corporate involvement. Moving forward, we hope to stimulate a much better organized corporate giving community through annual updates and engagement.”
Murray noted that as companies continue to shift strategic giving, they are able to build sustainable and long-term relationships with charitable efforts that can maximize returns to the company and charity.
“Each year since we first started, we have found that companies are giving in incredibly creative ways,” said Murray, “from actual dollars for programs or infrastructure to engaging employees in a range of hands-on volunteerism, which in turn, helps to build a positive corporate culture. This report helps us share those best practices.”
For a copy of the report, call Moonridge Group Philanthropy Catalysts / Nevada Corporate Giving Council at 702-570-7693.
About the Nevada Corporate Giving Council
The Nevada Corporate Giving Council brings together senior executives in corporate philanthropy in Nevada in order to build connectivity, share best practices, gain a deeper understanding of community issues, and publish an annual report on corporate giving in Nevada, all with the ultimate purpose of achieving real, measurable social change on our community’s greatest challenges. To learn about
NCGC, visit http://www.moonridgegroup.com/#!ncgc/c19kd.