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Favorite Giving in Numbers Findings

By Carmen Perez, Director, Data Insights

October 13, 2016–Giving in Numbers: 2016 Edition is my sixth Giving in Numbers report release since joining the CECP team. Completing the full report is always a labor of love for CECP, and its completion is a major milestone that we celebrate. The process begins in March when companies take time to submit survey information on their work, so we must begin by thanking the people at the 250+ large companies included in the report for making it happen.

Numbering 50 pages from front to back, Giving in Numbers includes an incredible wealth of information on contributions, employee giving, volunteering, team structure and size, measurement, and more. How do you know where to begin? The Data Insights team has selected its favorite findings, which may not have made the headlines.

André’s pick:
Section: Employee Factor: Volunteering
Finding: Six Programs is the Sweet Spot of Volunteering Programs (page 17)

André is the lead author on the report and has already been on the road sharing insights from Giving in Numbers, both from the Giving in Numbers Brief released in June as well as sneak previews of the report. Not only did he find this insight intriguing as part of his analysis, but he also has found audiences are interested in it as well.

The report talks about changes in volunteer participation both based on the number of volunteering programs offered as well as the type of programs. The percentage of volunteer participation appears to peak when companies offer around six volunteering programs. The report also shows that volunteering can experience an extra bump in participation when companies focus new or enhanced volunteer program offerings on “skills-based” opportunities. This is a great example of how Giving in Numbers provides data to support strategy and programming decisions those in our network are making!

Jinny’s pick:
Section: Operations: Contribution Staffing Trends
Finding: Societal Engagement departments most often report into Communications and Marketing (page 30)

Jinny leads our survey and data collection process and was most interested to see what came out of some new survey question additions in the 2015 research year. For the first time, we asked companies to report on where they fit in the overall corporate structure, the findings of which can be applied in many different ways. Take a look at the figure on page 10 as well.

CECP knows that re-organizations are common and are part of doing business. Changes to the corporate structure can influence not only budget and other resources, but also strategy and goal-setting. Because we know societal engagement can drive bottom-line benefits to the corporate brand (among others), it’s interesting to see that the function most commonly sits in communications and marketing, with external and public affairs not far behind.

Carmen’s pick:
Section: Measuring Societal Investments
Finding: The number of grantee partners is much lower for companies measuring outcomes on all grants (page 29)

Giving in Numbers and CECP have been digging deeper into the measurement and evaluation practices of companies over the past few years. There was some skepticism among some readers last year around the nearly 20% percent of companies that reported measuring outcomes or impacts on their entire portfolio of partners. We found this year that the number dropped; a lower percentage of companies reported that they measure outcomes or impacts for all partners. The report also notes a big difference in the number of grantee partners for companies that measure with all partners compared to those that measure only a segment of their partnerships. This significantly lower number of grantee partners indicates a higher likelihood for deeper relationships with these grantees, both in terms of how they partner as well as how they evaluate their effectiveness.

Download your copy of Giving in Numbers to find your favorite finding!

Email us at,, to tell us about your favorite part of the report. We’re here to discuss and answer your questions.