Study finds Peninsula, Valley firms strong givers

Companies in Silicon Valley, including San Mateo County, are likely “on par” with companies nationally in charitable giving, according to a study released this morning by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

“For a long time, Silicon Valley had this rap as the land of the cyber-stingy,” said Peter Hero, senior advisor to the foundation, which commissioned a survey of 100 companies, most in information technology, professional services and finance. “In point of fact, people living in Silicon Valley are about as generous as people nationally.”

By some measures, the companies may give even more than their counterparts nationwide, according to the study. The firms surveyed gave, on the median, 1 percent of revenue and 3 percent of profit, compared to .1 percent and .9 percent for those same medians in the Corporate Giving Standards 2006 national study of charitable giving.

The study included 13 San Mateo County companies, including Genentech Inc. (DNA), Electronic Arts Inc. (ERTS) and the restaurant 231 Ellsworth. The largest recipients of corporate giving by companies in the study were, in order, health and human services, education, civic and community groups, arts and culture and the environment,but companies reported a planned increase in giving to education and the environment, and a recent decrease in giving to arts and culture

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