News and analysis
July 22, 2012

10 Companies That Gave the Most Cash in 2011

Wal-mart stores supply food to the Central Virginia Food Pantry

By Noelle Barton, Maria Di Mento, Raymund Flandez, and Marisa López-Rivera

1. Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores supply food to the Central Virginia Food Pantry.

How much it gave: $342,350,438 (cash), $616,591,031 (products)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 4.1%

Of note: Wal-Mart continues to make good on its 2010 $2-billion pledge to help feed low-income people. Last year it provided $60-million and 338 million pounds of food to antihunger groups. The company is also doubling its commitment to support job training and education for military veterans to $20-million over the next five years and plans to provide $100-million to help women around the globe gain job and entrepreneurial skills.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give the same.

2. Goldman Sachs Group

Goldman Sachs

The 10,000 Small Businesses program is supported by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

How much it gave: $337,077,886 (cash)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 2.6%

Of note: Nearly $19-million of the company’s cash-giving total matched gifts made by its employees, which is more than 10 times the median total for the amount companies in The Chronicle’s survey provided to match employee donations. Goldman Sachs matches up to $20,000 per employee per year.

Forecast for 2012: Declined to provide.

3. ExxonMobil Corporation

ExxonMobil gave $27-million to the National Math and Science Initiative.

How much it gave: $232,658,037 (cash), $2,007,943 (products)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 0.4%

Of note: The company’s largest 2011 grant was $27-million to the National Math and Science Initiative to support AP Training and Incentive and UTeach programs. Also among the five biggest grants it made last year: $1.7-million to the Centre for Development and Population Activities to support workshops for women held in the United States and in Saudi Arabia.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give the same.

4. Wells Fargo & Company

Suzanne Starr

Wells Fargo's NeighborhoodLIFT program, in Phoenix, helps people get down payments and other assistance to buy a home.

How much it gave: $213,481,849 (cash)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 1.1%

Of note: Opportunity Finance Network, a coalition of nonprofit groups that provide banking services in low-income communities, received the company’s largest grant last year, $3.4-million for general operating support. This year the company provided $72-million to NeighborWorks America for Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program, which helps people get down payments, counseling, and other help they need to buy homes in neighborhoods most affected by the housing crisis, such as places with a large number of foreclosed homes that are otherwise unoccupied.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give more.

5. Chevron Corporation

Project Lead the Way

Chevron's grant to Project Lead the Way will help provide engineering programs to students.

How much it gave: $209,280,000 (cash)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 0.7%

Of note: The company’s largest 2011 grant was for $8-million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, while its third biggest was $1.75-million to Project Lead the Way, a group that runs engineering programs in middle and high schools nationwide.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give more.

6. Bank of America

Kerry Sullivan (left), president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, volunteers at a Detroit Food bank.

How much it gave: $208,425,075 (cash)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: The company lost money in 2010, so this figure cannot be calculated.

Of note: In the past two years, the company says it increased the share of its grants to groups that help people hurt by the poor economy. In June it announced it would give $100-million to groups that work to lower carbon emissions, part of a $50-billion 10-year plan to promote environmentally friendly projects. Last year the company started matching donations from its online banking customers to local food banks and pantries, raising $3.5-million in five weeks for Feeding America affiliates around the country.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give the same.

7. JPMorgan Chase & Company

JPMorgan Chase & Company

JPMorgan Chase & Company's largest grant supported a concert by the Black Eyed Peas that benefited the Robin Hood Foundation.

How much it gave: $202,961,667 (cash), $70,473,269 (noncash gifts such as art and real estate)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 1.1%

Of note: The bank’s largest grant was $10-million to the Robin Hood Foundation last year to help the New York antipoverty group hold a fundraising concert. The company also gave more than $50-million in grants to nonprofit schools and educational organizations that serve the poor, bringing its total giving to such groups to $230-million over the past five years.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give more.

8. Target Corporation

Target plans to give $1-billion to education causes by 2015.

How much it gave: $146,119,380 (cash), $63,155,311 (products)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 4.7%

Of note: Target is providing more than $12-million this year to improve libraries in local schools across the country. The company is also making $1.5-million in grants to encourage reading at more than 100 schools that participated in its library-makeover program in the past. Both efforts are part of Target’s plan to give $1-billion to education by 2015.

Forecast for 2012: Declined to provide.

9. General Electric Company

The GE Foundation

Staff members of the National Medical Fellowships and the GE Foundation explain the impact of one grant.

How much it gave: $144,100,000 (cash), $1,900,000 (products)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 1%

Of note: After the company cut its donations by 6 percent due to the sale of its NBC unit to Comcast, GE says it’s stepping up its pro bono work. It made $17.5-million in grants to 72 health clinics in regions that don’t have adequate medical services and then asked workers to volunteer their expertise in making things better for patients. One result: The average waiting time at one clinic dropped from 105 minutes to 53 minutes. This year, the company is making a $2.3-million grant to National Medical Fellowships for 32 medical students to practice medicine in community health centers during their summer breaks in the hope that it will lead them to careers in primary care.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give $155-million in cash.

10. Citigroup

Junior Achievement

Julie Monaco, a Citigroup employee and Junior Achievement USA board member, explains the benefit of having other Citigroup employees volunteer for the nonprofit.

How much it gave: $121,910,534 (cash)

Share of 2010 pretax profits donated in 2011: 0.9%

Of note: Its largest grant in 2011, for $4.1-million, went to Junior Achievement to support programs in more than 50 countries to strengthen youngsters’ understanding of financial issues and teach them about entrepreneurship. The company also stepped up its employee-volunteer pro bono projects. Among them: a “skills marathon” that enlisted workers to provide a dozen charities with help on finance, human resources, information technology, and marketing and communications.

Forecast for 2012: Expects to give the same.