The state of giving

The Cleveland area has always placed a high priority on giving — the state of Ohio boasts more than 2,780 charitable foundations, of which 42 percent operate in the Greater Cleveland area.

That commitment is reflected in the 2003 Smart Business/BrownFlynn Communications State of Community Relations Survey, in which 95 percent of the more than 100 respondents said they believe it is the responsibility of business to give back to the community.

“Volunteerism should be a part of a bigger community engagement strategy that is part of a company’s strategic plan,” says Margie Flynn, co-principal of BrownFlynn Communications. “The importance of that alignment, if it’s communicated effectively and integrated into a culture of a company, helps the employees embrace and appreciate the value of giving back, while at the same time have an opportunity to not just do good in the community but help their company do well.”

Other results from the survey include:

* 84 percent of respondents said their company and its employees give back through employee volunteerism and monetary donations.

* 77 percent said corporate giving is overseen by the company’s CEO or president.

* 74 percent align corporate giving with the company’s business strategy.

* 74 percent do not have a specific budget for annual corporate giving.

* 61 percent said their company’s corporate giving efforts increase consumer awareness of their organization.

* 56 percent of respondents believe Northeast Ohio companies do enough to give back to the community.

The entire results of the survey can be found at under the December issue of Smart Business Cleveland.