Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Megabank Philanthropy: More PR Than Reality?

The nation's megabanks spend megabucks on PR to tout their philanthropic initiatives, but their actual social generosity is either unverifiable or lackluster, claims a new report from The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP), an "independent watchdog of philanthropy." Hardly a fan of big banking, the NCRP cites the "crimes" of four megabanks (from furthering the economic meltdown to actual legal convictions, fines and settlements), while questioning claimed philanthropy in the report. Findings note that Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase do not disclose "the recipients of purported charitable contributions disbursed from corporate treasuries, making it impossible to independently verify claims of philanthropic largesse," while their corporate foundations have given less than 50% of grant dollars to efforts that "explicitly benefit the poor, elderly and other under-served populations." During the recent recession, only one of the four surpassed the financial industry's median of philanthropic generosity, but all four maintained or increased their already hefty political spending, according to NCRP research. For more, see the NCRP press release at http://www.ncrp.org/news-room/press-releases/893-philanthropy-of-megabanks-mediocre-lacks-transparency

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