Study Finds Increase in Corporate Philanthropy, Volunteerism in Central Texas

2016 Rodman Report Reveals Giving Habits, Trends of Local Businesses

AUSTIN, Texas—A new survey has good news for nonprofits and others who depend on philanthropy in Central Texas: Most local companies have giving budgets, and those budgets increased from 2014-2015.

That and other key insights on corporate giving in Central Texas are presented in the 2016 Rodman Report, available for viewing online at This is the second year that Austin-based Rodman & Associates has conducted the survey, which is the only study of its kind that addresses Austin and the surrounding area.

Some of the other major highlights of the Rodman Report include:

Volunteering is key. The report found that companies are doing more to encourage volunteering among their employees. This year, 86 percent of companies reported volunteer hours as one of their methods of giving, compared to 66 percent in the 2015 survey. More than three-quarters (77 percent) of companies surveyed engage their employees through group volunteering. “Companies that take advantage of this method of giving find that group volunteering is a great way to engage employees, providing a team-building activity that increases morale,” said Lisa Rodman, founder and principal of Rodman & Associates.

Tone at the top guides giving. Philanthropic giving efforts are spearheaded by ownership (43 percent) or directors/executives (24 percent), followed by human resources (13 percent), marketing/public relations (also 13 percent) or mid-level managers (4 percent). “This is an important finding for nonprofits and other fundraising groups to help them know who the corporate gatekeepers are in terms of potential support for their causes,” Rodman said.

Certain causes generate the most support. Like last year, the types of organizations that companies were most likely to support are those involved in education (81 percent), human services (78 percent) and health and wellness (62) percent. “Companies, just like individuals, often look for causes that have the most impact and seem the most worthy of their dollars – and their time,” Rodman said.

The results are drawn from the survey responses of 120 Central Texas companies who participated online between February 10 and March 8, 2016.

The Rodman Report is available at, as well as an infographic for media use and distribution.

Rodman & Associates was founded by Lisa Rodman, a 20-year veteran of the nonprofit arena. She advises and supports individuals, businesses and foundations on philanthropic initiatives and partnerships.