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Giving Arms of OC’s Largest Companies Grant $145M

Orange County’s corporate foundations and giving programs gave $144.7 million to local, regional and national charities in the past year or so.

Their assets came in at $2.2 billion.

The giving programs, listed alphabetically on this week’s Business Journal’s directory, are charitable arms of some of the county’s largest employers from a cross-section of industries.

Data on these programs is scattered—the most recent numbers available for 12 of the 30 giving programs on the list were as of December 2007. Given this, it is difficult to cull any trends from the list.

Several of giving programs are relatively new, founded within the past five years.

Some are so new they don’t even appear on this year’s list.

Irvine chipmaker Broadcom Corp. recently set up a $50 million foundation that will focus on programs in math and science. It plans to start giving grants in 2010.

Some of the companies that are represented on the list: Los Angeles-based Capital Group Cos., which has an Irvine campus, Newport Beach-based Pacific Life Insurance Co., Newport Beach’s Pacific Investment Manage-ment Co., Santa Ana-based First American Corp., Irvine-based Golden State Foods Corp. and Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp., part of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands Inc.

Capital Group Cos. Charitable Foundation, based in Los Angeles, is one of the largest donors on our list, giving $23 million in the 12 months through June 2008, an increase of nearly 8% from a year earlier.

The company’s foundation is one of the nation’s top givers, listed at No. 33 on the New York-based Foundation Center’s top 50 corporate foundations. It has donated more than $186 million in the past 10 years.

The Capital Group foundation has assets of $242 million as of June 2008, an increase of 34% from a year earlier.

Like others on our directory, Capital Group’s assets could have fallen in the past year with a downturn in investments.

There are a few ways that companies can set up their corporate giving programs, but most of the charitable giving groups on our list are corporate foundations, which are started by companies and funded by endowments and business profits. They operate separately.

The bulk of the nation’s foundations are established by a family or an individual, rather than a corporation (see related story on private foundations, page 23). But private foundations and corporate foundations operate under the same rules and regulations.

Corporate giving programs sometimes en-courage employee giving by matching charitable donations that employees make to nonprofits. They also can solicit employee input on selecting the charities that get grants.

Giving programs can promote volunteerism by employees, which enhances workplace cultures.

Many companies incorporate their charitable arms into their community relations or public relations departments.

The Allergan Foundation, the Beckman Coulter Foundation, Boeing Co.’s giving program, Lilly’s Gift Foundation, Pacific Life Foundation and Pacific Life Insurance Co. Contributions Program increased their giving in 2008, according to the directory.

Many of the corporate givers focused their donations in 2008 on “safety net” charities, which serve peoples’ immediate needs of food and shelter.

Drug maker Allergan Inc.’s Allergan Foundation, based in Irvine, gave $4.3 million in 2008 to 302 organizations including Santa Barbara-based Unity Shoppe, which provides food, clothing and other essentials, and Orange-based St. Joseph Hospital’s Puente a La Salud (Point of Health) Mobile Community Vision Clinic.

Giving More

Allergan upped its charitable giving more than 50% from 2007 to 2008.

The foundation, established in 1998, has given more than $20 million in the past 10 years.

Newport Beach-based Angels Baseball Foun-dation, the giving arm of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, nearly doubled its giving in 2007 to about $487,000.

The Angels foundation, started in 2004, targets its donations to education, healthcare, sciences and arts.

Fullerton-based medical testing instruments and supply company Beckman Coulter Inc.’s Beckman Coulter Foundation is a relatively new foundation—set up in 2007—and gives primarily to health and science charities.

Beckman Coulter gave $1.2 million last year. It had assets of about $7.9 million in 2008.

Irvine-based heart valve maker Edward Lifesciences Corp.’s Edwards Lifesciences Fund granted money to Families Forward, which helps people find housing, Boys & Girls Club of Anaheim, Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana-based Think Together and Fountain Valley’s Working Wardrobes, which helps women who’ve spent time in shelters or rehabilitation centers get back to work.

Edwards Lifesciences Fund, established in 2004, gave $2.3 million in 2008, a decrease of 16% compared to a year earlier. It had $11.5 million in assets at the end of 2008, down 45% from a year earlier.

Santa Ana’s First American Homeowner Foundation gave $1.3 million in 2007, an increase of 55%. It donates to charities related to affordable housing, homebuyer education and neighborhood improvement. But as the housing industry slumped, it’s likely the donations did as well.

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