Corporations Need To Step-Up Their Charitable Game: Ken Stern In Slate
"Given the scale of American business, it is surprising how small a role corporations play in charitable giving in the U.S.," he also writes, "now comprising only about 6 percent of private-sector donations and only a little more than 1 percent of the $1.5 trillion charitable economy." Stern, who's the author of With Charity for All: Why Charities Are Failing and a Better Way to Give, stresses that donations have increased over time. Overall, the corporate sector donated $18 billion to charitable causes last year. However, the percentage of giving in relation to profit—what Stern says is "the best measure of relative generosity"—has drastically decreased. You may be thinking that $18 billion seems like a lot. That's until you consider that one individual corporation making $45 billion in profits is only donating around $2 million—which is not overly generous, after all.
On average, the lower-grossing companies are the ones donating the most, percentage-wise, as well. As Stern says, this is reflective of individual donation patterns, too. "In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity," he wrote in a piece for The Atlantic. "By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income." As Stern argued in response to this TIME article, simply giving isn't enough. What you give, and how you give, is equally as important. Overall, he says Americans are fairly generous with their money—but there's still lots of room for improvement.
Stern is the President and CEO of Palisades Media, where he focuses on creating new and innovative programming models for digital platforms and for television. In his engaging talks, he shows us how to give more effectively. And, how to help America's floundering charities to put those donations to better use. To book Ken Stern for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau.