Most Charitable SMB Owners? Men, Immigrants, and Southerners

2 min read · 7 years ago


Scrooge might have been a small businessman, but he’s not representative of the breed. A whopping 95 percent of small business owners plan to make charitable donations, and nearly half will give more this year than they did last year.

That’s according to the free small business social network Alignable, a startup based in Waltham, Mass., which surveyed more than 300 of its members. The other half plan to donate the same amount in the form of cash, goods and services, or personal time. Many make all three types of donations.

Small and medium business’s giving preferences suggest a strong sense of community and focus on local needs, Alignable observes. More than three-quarters give to human services, such as food banks and shelters, while more than two-fifths give to youth groups and community development organizations.

Alignable says its survey also indicates that small business owners are more generous than big businesses. A quarter of small business owners plan to give over 10 percent of their profits, according to Alignable, which is a significantly greater percentage than big businesses give.

In a press release about the survey data, Eric Groves, who was SVP Sales & Business Development at Constant Contact before co-founding Alignable nearly two years ago, said, “Large corporations get exposure for their sizable charitable donations. Their contributions are indeed generous, but when you look at giving as a percentage of profits, small businesses give more.“

Wealthier businesses are also less likely to donate to community-needs, giving instead to colleges, universities, and the arts.

Other discrepancies of interest uncovered by the survey:

  • 58 percent of first-generation immigrant-owned businesses plan to give more to charity this year
  • 46 percent of non-immigrant-owned businesses plan to increase their giving
  • 15 percent of immigrant-owned businesses will give over 20 percent of their profits
  • 9 percent of other businesses plan to give that much
  • 58 percent of male business owners plan to give more to charity this year
  • 39 percent of female business owners will increase their giving
  • Men are almost twice as likely than women to give 20 percent or more of their profit to charity
  • Businesses in the U.S. south are the most charitable
  • Businesses in the U.S. west are the least charitable

For advice on year-end charitable giving, see the Alignable blog.