NEW YORK — U.S. corporations plan to increase their charitable contributions by about 3% this year and by about 5% in 1996, a Conference Board study says.
The increases represent a turnaround because during the past five years, companies projected virtually no growth in giving, according to an advance summary released Wednesday.
In last year's survey, companies forecast 1% growth in giving in 1994 and none at all in 1995.
"The anticipated rise in contributions for 1995 and 1996 giving indicates executives' confidence in their companies' ability to compete and grow," said Audris Tillman, a Conference Board research analyst.
The study, to be released in full later this year, is based on a survey taken in early 1995 of 383 large and mid-sized companies in both the manufacturing and service sectors.
As a percentage of pretax profits, giving shrank in 1994, the Conference Board said. The 383 companies gave less than 1% of U.S. pretax income in 1994, down from the past five years when they gave 1.1% to 1.2% of U.S. pretax profits.
Looking at the 212 companies that responded to both this year's survey and the previous year's, the Conference Board said corporations reported giving 5.8% more in 1994 than in 1993. The year before saw a 0.3% decrease in contributions.
The 212 companies last year gave 34.8% of their total contributions to educational charities, followed by 24.5% to health and human services.
Next were civic and community charities, 11.9%; non-allocated funds, 11.5%; culture and the arts, 11.1%, and other, 6.2%.