Corporate Giving Programs and Foundations

Corporate Philanthropy refers to the investments and activities a company voluntarily undertakes to responsibly manage and account for its impact on society. It includes investments of money, donations of products, in-kind services and technical assistance, employee volunteerism, and other business transactions to advance a social cause, issue, or the work of a nonprofit organization. Corporate foundations and corporate giving programs traditionally play a major role in these areas.

Below is everything on our site for corporate giving programs and foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

Question: Our foundation has been funding a local nonprofit for the last ten years. The nonprofit has one full-time employee and an annual operating budget of about $300,000. The nonprofit recently requested a $50,000 grant for operating expenditures or it will have to close down immediately. Even if we make the grant, they may only operate for another month or so. If the foundation makes the grant but the nonprofit dissolves anyway and $20,000 of the grant remains unspent, what happens to that money? Can we fund them?

Note to the Program Officer

The scope of the program officer job description has evolved. Where it was once primarily tactical—reviewing funding requests and developing requests for proposals—the program officer’s role more commonly includes strategic activities. Program officers must master three distinct areas: (1) developing and strengthening internal networksand relationships, (2) creating the foundation/giving program’s grantmaking strategy,and (3) engaging grantees and the community.

One of the greatest challenges encountered in thinking about evaluation is that there usually is more than one acceptable way to evaluate a given grant, project, or program.

The form that an evaluation takes and the products that it yields will depend on choices made about the following issues:

Question: Our corporate foundation is planning to establish a scholarship fund for our employees' children. What do we need to keep in mind and what steps do we need to follow to ensure we are complying with the legal requirements?

Question: A potential grantee submitted to us an IRS letter of determination that expired on August 30, 2008. The grantee said that, despite the expiration date, the letter of determination is treated as the grantee's permanent ruling. Is this true?
 

Question:May a corporate foundation allow corporate board members who do not sit on the foundation’s board to designate grants from the corporate foundation?

Answer:No. All grants from the corporate foundation must be approved by the corporate foundation’s board of directors. No individual—including a corporate board member—can require the foundation to make a grant without the foundation board’s oversight and approval.

What is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act?
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to rebuild public trust in the corporate community in the wake of the Enron scandal and other corporate and accounting scandals. Sarbanes-Oxley requires publicly traded companies to adhere to governance standards that expand board member roles in overseeing financial transactions and auditing procedures.

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