Add charitable contributions to the list of casualties from corporate downsizings in the 1990s. According to the Conference Board's annual survey of contributions, U.S. companies probably increased their charitable gifts by less than 1% in 1993 and will show no increase in 1994. That's down sharply from the pattern of 8% jumps in gift-giving in the mid-1980s.
Analyst Maria Buenaventura blames restructurings, layoffs, and economic uncertainty for the miserly growth in gift-giving. But, she adds, American corporations are less likely to play Scrooge overseas. The board's survey found that U.S. companies making gifts to foreign charities increased their median giving by a steep 36% in 1992, the latest year of data. The growing importance of overseas revenues and profits "is encouraging involvement in these countries and communities," says Buenaventura.