Motives for corporate philanthropy and charitable causes supported


Purpose: This paper examines how the inferred motives for corporate philanthropy relate to the types of charitable causes supported. Design/methodology/approach: Published data were obtained for 256 publicly traded and private corporations from a variety of sources. Findings: The results demonstrated that a number of motives were not significantly related to total charitable giving, but were related to how charitable funds were distributed to various charitable causes. Thus, the study provides insights on the strategic use of corporate charity as means of achieving various business objectives and advancing a theoretical understanding of corporate philanthropy strategies. Research limitations/implications: This study only investigated some of the presumed motives for corporate philanthropy. Even for the motives investigated in this study, no attempt was made to examine all the motivational factors that determine the level of need for a specific motive. Thus, while the present study provides some of the first evidence of a relationship between motivational factors and data on the types of charitable causes supported, there are other motivational factors that could be investigated in future studies. Practical implications: The results have a number of implications for managers of nonprofit organizations such as marketing/targeting potential donors. Additionally, the results could be useful for managers of for profit firms in terms of comparing corporate strategies with competing firms. Originality/value: The study provides a framework for investigating the relationship between motivational factors and types of charitable causes supported.


Information Technology and Cybersecurity

Document Type





Corporate philanthropy strategies, Philanthropy motives, Political influence, Shareowner influence, Workforce benefits

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Strategy and Management