Corporate gifts can be the toughest donated dollars to get, although they can also be as reliable as the gifts of individual donors. This is because the sources of these dollars behave very much like individual donors—the programs are subject to income fluctuations, the giving focuses on an individual, and the process is personalized and informal, requiring a high degree of advance cultivation and ongoing stewardship.

First, that narrow definition. A corporate gift is money from a corporate giving program or an executive’s departmental discretionary funds. Most larger corporations have some sort of corporate giving program. This might be a formal, funded program with a staff and a contributions committee; it might be marketing money, run from an internal business unit or as part of an ad agency’s strategy; it might be a matching gift program run through the community relations or human resources department, or it might be the CEO or other high executive’s discretionary spending. Corporate gifts also behave differently under the law, with no set spending or divestiture mandates and different fiscal reporting requirements than foundation gifts.

There are the bare facts. So how do you find these no-strings-attached corporate dollars? (I can hear you all salivating.)

You don’t. Read the rest of this entry »