The Impact of Cause Portfolio Focus and Contribution Amount on Stakeholder Evaluations

Meike Eilert, Stefanie Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


When companies engage in corporate philanthropy, they can donate to a number of causes supporting a variety of issues, thus establishing cause portfolios. This research examines how the focus of a cause portfolio affects company evaluations. Results from an experiment show that when a company donates a small amount of money, consumers have lower evaluations of a company when the cause portfolio is focused (i.e., supports one issue) versus diverse (i.e., supports many issues). This is because the focused (vs. diverse) portfolio is perceived to have a weaker impact to society. We provide additional evidence of this effect using a data set of Fortune 500 companies’ foundations, showing that cause portfolios are more likely to result in lower stakeholder evaluations when focused (vs. diverse). Again, we find that donation amount alleviates the difference between focused and diverse portfolios. The findings hold important implications for the company’s management of cause portfolios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1483-1514
Number of pages32
JournalBusiness and Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.


  • cause portfolios
  • charitable giving
  • corporate philanthropy
  • social responsibility
  • stakeholder evaluations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'The Impact of Cause Portfolio Focus and Contribution Amount on Stakeholder Evaluations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this