15 Inspiring Examples of Corporate Philanthropy in Action

This list explores several corporate philanthropy examples from generous companies.

The collaboration between the corporate sector and nonprofit organizations has never been so vital. Companies across various industries leverage their resources, expertise, and networks to make a difference. Best of all, recent research on trends shows that these programs are becoming increasingly generous, and we’re here to share some corporate philanthropy examples from real companies, providing a roadmap for CSR program managers and nonprofit fundraisers alike.

Through this series of compelling examples of corporate philanthropy, this article will reveal how corporate giving has evolved into a sophisticated corporate strategy and an impactful nonprofit fundraising source. Whether you’re a CSR manager at a company or a nonprofit fundraiser, you’ll be prepared to lead successful initiatives and advance the common good.

Here’s what we’ll explore:

Effective philanthropic initiatives advance societal and corporate objectives, and we’re excited to share several examples of those with you. Let’s kick things off with the basics of corporate philanthropy programs.

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Corporate Philanthropy FAQ

Corporate philanthropy programs can be a powerful resource for everyone involved, but only if you understand their purpose and how they work. Let’s take a quick look at some common questions, so you can better understand the companies we’ll spotlight later on.

What Is Corporate Philanthropy?

Corporate philanthropy refers to the initiatives a business consciously takes to contribute to bettering a community, society, or the environment. Companies commonly accomplish this through financial donations, matching gifts, volunteerism, in-kind services, and similar forms of support.

The definition of corporate philanthropy is the initiatives a business consciously takes to improve a community, society, or the environment.

These efforts go beyond pursuing profit. They communicate a company’s values, ethics, and commitment to making a positive impact while also aligning with their strategic business goals. Overall, corporate philanthropy programs are an integral part of a business’s broader CSR strategy, demonstrating how businesses help address global challenges and contribute to societal well-being.

Why Should Nonprofits Pursue Corporate Philanthropy?

In short, corporate philanthropy programs provide nonprofits with the funding they need to succeed. For example, corporate matching gifts can drive higher donations by doubling a donor’s impact. That, in turn, leads to greater donor satisfaction and retention.

Companies will also often promote their nonprofit partners to their employees and customers, helping organizations connect with new supporters.

What’s more, nonprofits often need extra helping hands, and corporate volunteer programs provide support and expertise to get jobs done, especially when companies engage in skills-based volunteering.

Companies can give back to nonprofits in several ways, so if you lead a nonprofit, make sure you’re proactively pursuing the opportunities that best align with your needs.

Why Should Companies Engage In Corporate Philanthropy?

Companies don’t engage in CSR just because they can. The impact of CSR on companies can be incredible when a company gets it right. For example, many companies experience:

  • Higher employee engagement and retention since workers feel proud their company gives back
  • Improved public image since they’ll be seen as generous, resulting in increased sales
  • Better talent recruitment since today’s employees seek out companies that give back

Our CSR research discovered that 93% of job seekers believe that companies must lead with purpose, and businesses engaging in philanthropic initiatives see an average of 57% lower turnover. Meanwhile, consumers are 4-6x more likely to trust, protect, champion, and purchase from companies with a strong purpose.

Overall, corporate philanthropy programs can make a real difference when businesses are smart about aligning their initiatives with their budgets, the public’s expectations, and organizational objectives.

How Can Nonprofits and Businesses Get Started with Corporate Philanthropy?

Exploring corporate philanthropy examples is a great place to start! While companies can get a sense of what programs make a difference, nonprofits can better understand which types of programs are out there. Examining successful corporate philanthropy initiatives can inspire innovative ideas, giving organizations a glimpse into creative ways to tackle social issues.

We also recommend investing in dedicated software to make the most of these initiatives. We’ll explore this in detail later, but for now, know that companies power their programs with CSR software while nonprofits invest in tools like matching gift databases to locate corporate giving opportunities.

Download our matching gifts guide to learn how to leverage some of the most powerful corporate philanthropy programs out there.

15 Inspiring Corporate Philanthropy Examples

Reviewing business philanthropy examples can serve as a valuable learning tool, offering insights and practical guidance for companies and nonprofits striving to enhance their philanthropic impact and collaborative efforts.

Now, let’s spotlight 15 corporate philanthropy programs from leading companies making a difference.

Google’s Employee Giving Program

Workplace giving is a proven way to boost employee engagement and develop happier work environments. Google has harnessed this power through its matching gift and volunteer grants program:

  • Matching Gifts: Full-time employees, part-time employees, and board members can have their charitable contributions matched at a dollar-for-dollar rate. This includes the funds employees personally raise for charitable events, like walks and bike rides. Google also will match an additional $10,000 an employee makes to disaster and international relief annually.
  • Volunteer Grants: Google encourages employees to volunteer by providing a $10 grant for every hour.

They recognize these types of programs as fairly easy ways to support the causes their employees believe in, making it a prime corporate philanthropy example.

The Google For Nonprofits Program

We’re not quite done exploring Google’s generosity. This company also offers the Google for Nonprofits program, granting nonprofits free access to premium Google Products, such as:

Nonprofits can gain free accsess to these tools thanks to Google's corporate philanthropy program.

  • Google Ads: Eligible organizations can receive up to $10,000 in free credits to spend on Google Ads. With the Google Ad Grant, nonprofits can promote their websites’ content on Google Search, helping to connect them with likely donors and volunteers.
  • Google Workspace: Also known as G Suite, Google Workspace includes Google’s online productivity and collaboration tools like Gmail, Drive, Docs, Meet, and Calendar.
  • YouTube Nonprofit Program: This program enables nonprofits to elevate their YouTube channels with extra features like donation buttons and access to the Creator Academy, which includes free lessons for nonprofits.
  • Google Earth and Maps: Nonprofits receive free credits for the Google Maps platform, making it easier to share programs and resources with their communities.

These are wonderful examples of giving back by donating goods and services. Plus, you can work with nonprofit experts to maximize these opportunities, such as by hiring a Google Grants manager to optimize your Google Ads.

Microsoft’s Corporate Philanthropy Program

Microsoft offers a multifaceted corporate philanthropy program that focuses on the company’s commitment to technological innovation. They use technology to address societal challenges and profits to support the nonprofits advancing communities. Key elements of their program include:

  • Employee Giving: Microsoft supports employees’ contributions to nonprofits by offering matching gifts and volunteer grants. Full-time and part-time employees can have up to $15,000 in donations matched and have $25 donated for every hour they volunteer.
  • Technology Access: According to Microsoft’s corporate social responsibility report, the company provided over $3.8 billion in donated and discounted technology to nearly 325,000 nonprofits, public libraries, and museums.

A while back, they even launched their own advertising grant program, which has since been paused. The main takeaway with this corporate philanthropy example is to center initiatives around business objectives.

Apple’s Workplace Giving Program

Since its inception, Apple’s employee giving program has raised over $880 million for nearly 44,000 organizations and logged over 2 million volunteer hours. This is made possible by their matching gifts program, in which they’ll match up to $10,000 per employee annually, and their volunteer grants program, in which they’ll donate $25 to a nonprofit for every hour volunteered.

The Home Depot Foundation

Home Depot also aligns its corporate giving programs with its products by focusing on improving lives and community health through initiatives centered around housing and disaster relief. Through the Home Depot Foundation, they offer several great examples of corporate philanthropy, such as the following:

  • National Partner Grants Program: The foundation partners with and funds nonprofits working for veteran causes and disaster response.
  • Community Impact Grants Program: Through this program, they award nonprofits small financial grants to complete community volunteer programs, typically benefiting local veterans.
  • Disaster Relief Program: In communities affected by natural disasters, the Home Depot Foundation provides nonprofit partners with volunteers and supplies needed to help residents recover and rebuild.
  • Veteran Housing Grants Program: The Home Depot Foundation awards large grants to nonprofits to work on developing and repairing housing for veterans, such as permanent supportive housing and transitional living facilities.
  • Team Depot: Their associate-led volunteer force serves veterans and responds to community disasters.

In terms of employee giving, they also promise to match employees’ donations up to $3,000. Organizations that serve veterans or provide disaster relief can benefit from the Home Depot’s efforts.

Firehouse Subs Foundation

Founded by firefighters, philanthropy is at the center of this company’s business model. Driven by the desire to support public safety, the company prioritizes charitable giving to first responders and public safety organizations.

Through the Firehouse Subs Foundation, the company has developed several meaningful initiatives since its founding in 2005, such as:

  • Equipping first responders with life-saving equipment like defibrillators, vehicle extrication tools, and bullet-proof vests
  • Providing prevention education tools such as fire extinguisher training and carbon monoxide poisoning prevention to the public to prevent disasters.
  • Giving scholarships and continued education opportunities to individuals pursuing careers in public safety
  • Extending their program to provide disaster relief assistance and resources
  • Supporting military members who have served in any branch of the U.S. Uniformed Services

While they don’t offer an employee giving program, Firehouse’s foundation makes an incredible philanthropic impact.

Bombas’ Corporate Philanthropy Program

Giving back is at the core of Bomba’s business philosophy. For every item a customer purchases, Bombas will donate a pair of socks, a t-shirt, or a pair of underwear to those in need.

Through its corporate philanthropy program, Bombas has donated more than 100 million socks, pairs of underwear, and shirts.

They partner with shelters, transitional living facilities, rehabilitation centers, and more to make this possible. With help from their network of 3,500+ Giving Partners, they’ve donated 100 million items to those in need.

Patagonia’s Corporate Philanthropy Program

Patagonia provides several business philanthropy examples of how companies can support the environment. For example, they’ve awarded an incredible $140 million via cash and in-kind donations to environmental groups. In 2002, they helped found 1% of the Planet, an alliance of businesses committed to donating 1% of their sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.

They also offer business giving programs that encourage employee participation. Through their matching gift program, they promise to match donations between $5 to $10,000 at a 1:1 rate. There’s one small catch: donations larger than $2,000 must be pre-approved to guarantee a full match.

Johnson & Johnson’s Corporate Philanthropy Program

Johnson & Johnson takes a people-first approach to business. Because of that, they’ve created corporate giving programs devoted to improving global health and fostering innovations in healthcare. The company engages in global health initiatives, support for healthcare workers, and response efforts for disaster relief and humanitarian crises.

This program is further bolstered by strong employee participation. Through their matching gift program, they offer a generous ratio of 2:1 for current full-time and part-time employees, with a maximum $20,000 company contribution. Meanwhile, retirees are eligible for a 1:1 match ratio, with a maximum $10,000 company contribution.

Overall, Johnson & Johnson’s multi-faceted initiative reflects the company’s credo of caring for the world, one person at a time.

ExxonMobil’s Matching Gift Program

Since 2022, ExxonMobil has been tied to $158 million in community social investments. These contributions have been made by Exxon Mobil Corporation, their divisions and affiliates, the ExxonMobil Foundation, and employee and retiree giving. Employee giving accounted for $26 million of that.

Because of the impact their employee giving program makes, here’s a closer look at their generous workplace giving initiatives:

ExxonMobil provides a few inspiring examples of corporate philanthropy, including matching gifts and an employee volunteer program.

  • Educational Matching Gift Program: ExxonMobil matches donations made by employees, spouses, and retirees to higher education organizations, including U.S. colleges and universities. Current employees and directors are eligible for their donations to be matched at a 2:1 rate. Meanwhile, spouses and former directors are matched at a 1:1 rate.
  • Individual Volunteer Involvement Program: Once an employee volunteers 20 hours with an organization, the company provides a volunteer grant of $500 to that organization. Each employee can request up to four grants each year.
  • Team Volunteer Involvement Program: When a team of at least five eligible participants volunteer a combined total of 20 hours, the company will award $500 to the nonprofit. Individual employees are limited to $2,000 in grants annually, while individual nonprofits are limited to $5,000 each year.

Volunteerism and matching donations alike make an incredible difference in worthwhile causes and employee satisfaction, which is why it’s important for companies to follow corporate philanthropy examples like these.

Allstate’s CSR Initiatives

Allstate provides some great examples of corporate philanthropy. Their corporate giving program is centered around community empowerment, safety, and development, reflecting its commitment to protecting and supporting communities as insurance leaders.

Through the Allstate Foundation, they empower youth with social and emotional learning and volunteer work. They also provide abuse survivors with tools for achieving financial dependence, teach young people about healthy relationships to stop abuse before it starts, and work to close the racial opportunity gap for careers with thriving wages.

Like many of these business philanthropy examples, Allstate encourages employees to give to their local communities through workplace giving. The company matches employee donations between $10 to $1,000. Employees and agency owners who volunteer more than 8 hours are eligible for a “Helping Hands Grant” of $500 to the nonprofit. Employees who volunteer can receive 2 of these grants per year.

Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF)

Nike is taking action to create more active, inclusive communities, starting with the cities where the company operates. The Nike Community Impact Fund (NCIF) is one key component of Nike’s broader CSR commitment to fostering healthy communities and physical activity, particularly among youth.

Established by the Nike Foundation, the NCIF is an employee-led initiative. Here’s how it works:

  1. Local organizations apply for funding.
  2. Nike employees volunteer to be trained to assess these grant applications.
  3. Each volunteer shares their local insights to help decide which organizations receive the funding.
  4. Nike notifies the grant recipients and distributes the funds.

Nike leads plenty of other corporate giving programs, too. From their Black Community Commitment to their Inclusive Community program, their investments are meant to strengthen communities.

Their level of employee involvement is also notable. They offer $10 for every hour an employee volunteers for up to $1,000, and they offer a generous matching gift program. For community sport-related organizations and organizations supported through Nike’s Black Community Commitment, the company will match donations 2:1 to amplify impact further.

Walmart’s Corporate Philanthropy Program

In 2023, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provided more than $1.7 billion in cash and in-kind support. The ongoing goal of their philanthropic giving is to systematically address major economic, environmental, and social challenges in these priority areas:

  • Creating Opportunity
  • Advancing Sustainability
  • Strengthening Community
  • Pursuing Racial Equity

They take actions such as focusing on workforce development, developing sustainable practices in its supply chain, and donating food to food banks.

In terms of employee giving, the company’s Volunteerism Always Pays (VAP) program offers individual volunteer grants of $10 for every hour someone volunteers. Meanwhile, groups of Walmart employees who volunteer or participate in fundraising runs/walks together can request grants for $500 to $5,000, depending on their group size.

Because the company offers a generous 3:1 match ratio, Walmart is a little more restrictive with its matching gift programs. Only executive-level employees of Walmart Stores & Sam’s Club are eligible, and donations must be between $250 and $25,000. That makes this a great example of corporate philanthropy programs that are restrictive yet still make a difference.

Dell’s Corporate Giving Initiatives

While Dell engages in corporate giving in multiple ways, we’ll focus on its team member giving initiatives. Dell provides good examples of corporate philanthropy programs that are more structured. Here’s an overview of their matching gifts and volunteer grants:

  • Dell matches individual donations made by all global employees.
  • The company matches the portion of an employee’s fundraising effort that comes from Dell colleagues for fundraising events like charity walks.
  • Dell only matches donations made by spouses if it’s recorded as a joint donation made by the employee as well.
  • For every quarter in which Dell employees volunteer more than 10 hours, the individual can request a $150 donation toward that nonprofit.

They’ve contributed 7.8 million volunteer hours since 2014 with an incredible 52% participation rate among team members. What’s more, they’ve supported over 345 nonprofits through their expertise and technology. Recently, they’ve committed to having 75% of team members participate in donating or volunteerism by 2030.

Coca-Cola’s Corporate Philanthropy Program

The Coca-Cola Company designed its corporate giving programs to reflect its commitment to community development. They invest in community development projects in areas like education, youth development, and entrepreneurship and collaborate with various partners. As the primary philanthropic arm of The Coca-Cola Company, The Coca-Cola Foundation awarded $94.8 million in grants to over 300 organizations in 2022.

In terms of employee giving, the company matches donations up to $10,000 per year per employee at a 2:1 ratio. That’s a maximum corporate donation of $20,000. Since this is a generous match, the company restricts eligibility to full-time and retired employees. Even though part-time employees are ineligible, this is still an example of corporate philanthropy worth emulating.

How to Leverage These Corporate Philanthropy Examples

With these corporate philanthropy examples in mind, now it’s time for companies to build their programs and nonprofits to start searching for these opportunities.

We recommend investing in software to power your initiatives. For nonprofits and companies alike, the right platforms can streamline corporate giving, resulting in greater impact. Here’s the type of software we recommend:

If you're feeling inspired by the corporate philanthropy examples we shared, these are the types of software you can use to power your corporate giving efforts.

  • Matching gift databases empower nonprofits to pinpoint match opportunities. Our matching gift database stores over 24,000 company records of volunteer grant and matching gift programs. You can embed our company search tool into your nonprofit’s website, enabling donors and volunteers to research their eligibility for these workplace giving programs.
  • Matching gift automation tools automatically identify match-eligible donors for nonprofits. Organizations can drive matches to completion by tracking eligibility and enabling automated messaging to donors.
  • Corporate giving software enables companies to facilitate matching gifts, run volunteer grant programs, make corporate donations, report on charitable giving, and more. Our tools integrate with popular corporate giving platforms, like Givinga, Millie, POINT, and Selflessly. When a company invests in one of these platforms, they can also enable auto-submission, so whenever one of their employees donates to a nonprofit that uses Double the Donation, they can have their match request automatically submitted to your CSR team.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this video for a quick look at our tools:

While we work exclusively with nonprofits and educational institutions, companies can drive impact by investing in CSR tools that integrate with our tools. That way, they can simplify the match request process and get the most out of their CSR software.

Final Thoughts on These Corporate Philanthropy Examples

Now that we’ve explored inspiring business philanthropy examples, it’s time to start making the most of these opportunities. For companies, that means taking notes from others and designing your program to be as impactful as possible. For nonprofits, you’ll want to start seeking out these opportunities. For both parties, invest in software to give your efforts a solid foundation and drive greater results.

In the meantime, keep exploring the fundamentals of corporate giving with these educational resources:

Click here to get a demo of our matching gift software and tap into one of the most impactful corporate philanthropy programs.