11/12/09 — Corporate giving remains steady for organizations

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Corporate giving remains steady for organizations

By Laura Collins
Published in News on November 12, 2009 1:46 PM

For some area non-profit organizations, corporate giving has not been affected by the tough economy.

Jack Kannan, executive director of the Foundation of Wayne Community College, said the organization has received about $175,000 in corporate donations in the past year, which is up from the previous year. He attributes the increase to better communication with the donors.

"We had a slight increase in corporate giving," Kannan said. "I contribute that to the fact that we've worked on the relationships we have. The biggest thing is when you go back and say, 'here's what we've done: we gave 'x' number of students money.' The biggest thing is to let them know how you spent their money."

Mount Olive College President Philip Kerstetter said giving at the college has remained level.

"We know these are difficult economic times for many people," he said. "But we have been very gratified that so many people continue to believe in the mission of Mount Olive College."

Vickie Robinson, director of corporate development at the college, said in the 2008-09 fiscal year, which ended June 30, the college had an increase of 17 percent in the number of businesses that contribute $1,000 or more annually. The college also saw a 24 percent increase in total gifts from all businesses.

Lauren Richter, theater services coordinator at Paramount Theatre, said corporate donations have remained the same from last year to this year.

"We haven't noticed any change from one year to the next," she said. "I think we have a lot of local support."

United Way Executive Director Steve Parr said with about a month left in the organization's fundraising campaign, corporate donations from area businesses don't seem to have decreased overall from last year.

"Right now we're finding that what we've seen submitted to us, in some cases it's up somewhat and in some cases it's flat from the previous year," he said.

However, Parr did say it might be too early to gauge the overall impact of corporate giving, and will reevaluate the participation after the campaign ends in December.

Local corporate donors, Sherwin Herring, CEO of SouthCo Distributing, and Jim Daniels, president of Daniels and Daniels Construction, said even in a tough economy it's important to donate.

"We feel like we are fortunate to have jobs right now and have been successful," Daniels said. "And we feel like when you have the opportunity to be in the position we are in and help others who are in need, then that's what we should do."

Herring agreed.

"When the economy is tough, it's just as tough on the United Way agencies," he said. "If you're going to live and work in the community, then it's important to give back to the community."