Despite Grim Outlook, Some Corporate Philanthropists Stay Upbeat

Like most corporations, General Electric has been suffering a string of punches to the gut of late. Its profits fell 46 percent in the last quarter of 2008, and the bad economy forced it to pursue cost-cutting measures such as laying off workers and slashing its dividend — for the first time since 1938. Its chief executive declined a bonus last year.

But Robert L. Corcoran, the company's vice president of corporate citizenship and president of the GE Foundation, said in a