Liberals often decry corporate greed, but a new report showed that the largest corporations donated $4.8 billion in charity. Three of the highest donating firms were typical media targets: Exxon, Walmart and Goldman Sachs.
According to a June 1, 2016, report from the Chronicle, charitable giving among large U.S. corporations increased in 2015, with much of the donations going towards “community projects.”
Sixty-eight of the nation’s largest corporations increased their cash donations by 2 percent to $4.8 billion in that year, with drug companies and financial institutions driving the increase.
Walmart, ExxonMobil and Goldman Sachs took three of the top four spots for donations. Combined, the companies gave almost $850 million in cash donations in 2015.
ExxonMobil, whose profits have received intensive media attention in the past, gave $268 million to charity. $276 million came from Goldman Sachs, which was targeted by NBC and ABC following the 2009 TARP bailouts.
Walmart’s portion was $301 million. In 2013, cable outlets responded to employees’ calls for higher wages by implying workers were comparable to civil rights activists, and by asking why the company couldn’t just share its profits.
Financial institution JPMorgan Chase gave $236 million to charity, while biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences gave the highest amount ($447 million) of the companies surveyed.
Gilead Science’s money went to charities, “that advance medical education, reduce health-care disparities, support local communities, and provide access to medicine.”
Community projects were the most popular form of donation among the corporations surveyed.
“Thirty-one companies gave to community projects, making them the most popular giving priority, followed by secondary education and higher education,” the report read.
Financial services company Wells Fargo, for example, plans to donate $1 billion in charity over the next few years, and recently announced a “social-responsibility” plan.
“In April, [Wells Fargo] announced a corporate social-responsibility plan that will account for a big share of the pledge. The plan includes a focus on strengthening communities,” the Chronicle reported.