Corporate Philanthropy Strong In 2010, Despite Economy

2009 was a year for businesses to trim the fat. But this year may be a different story, at least in the generosity department: a new study finds 65% of major Chicago area corporations plan to maintain or increase their corporate philanthropy in the coming year.

The study, produced by strategic communications firm FD, shows that only 11% of companies in the area will be setting aside fewer funds for philanthropy in 2010 than they did in 2009. Chris Hodges, the general manager of FD's Chicago branch, suggests that businesses in the area have an optimistic outlook for the new year.

"The steadfast commitment that local corporations are making to support philanthropy is a great sign that Chicago's business community has put the worst of the recession behind us and enters 2010 with improving health," Hodges said.

Most of this year's corporate philanthropy will be in the areas of social services and education, while environmental and cultural efforts will receive a significantly smaller slice of the pie.