The Most Generous American Companies

Each year, it seems like you hear about more and more companies that are giving back to communities, charities, and international philanthropic causes. Large companies and corporations can often afford to give more, granted that they bring in more revenue than small companies. However, looking at the numbers as a percentage rather than raw dollars is valuable in that it shows us who is, in fact giving the most relative to their size.

So, what are the companies that gave back the most last year in terms of percentage? According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, these are the top givers from last year:

  1. Alcoa, leaders in the aluminum industry, gave away 6.7% of their pre-tax profits from 2011, a total of $36.6 million.
  2. Merck, global healthcare giant, gave 4.4% of its pre-tax profit, totaling $72.6 million.
  3. General Mills cereal company gave $88.7 million, or 4% of it’s pre-tax profits.
  4. Kroger, the retail food chain, contributed 4% of their pre-tax profits, a total of $69.7 million.
  5. Xerox, the digital management masters, gave $27 million, a total of 3.3%.
  6. Target gave a stunning $146 million, which was 3.3% of its total pre-tax profits.
  7. Goldman Sachs gave $337 million total, which was 2.6% of their pre-tax profits.
  8. Safeway Foods used 2.5% of its pre-tax profits for charitable purposes, totaling $21.6 million.
  9. Northwest Mutual Life Insurance donated 2.4% of pre-tax profits, or $17 million.

10. Starbucks, the Seattle-based coffee giant, gave away 2.1% of profits for a total of $30.5 million.

Each company, of course, has its own ideas for where their money would be best put to use. Alcoa, for example, donates heavily to STEM education programs and a number of environmental projects. Other donation recipients include hunger-relief organizations, green causes, and many more do-good organizations around the world.


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