Corporate Philanthropy Up at Wells Fargo Despite Economy

Despite dismal news on Wall Street, Wells Fargo’s Bay Area giving jumped 21 percent to $12 million through the third quarter of 2008. This may have a lot to do with its desire to “talk the talk” as it grows the charitable trust services arm created for wealthy individuals who want to better manage their giving. So for Wells Fargo, philanthropy is smart money well spent.

Overall, the San Francisco bank gave $78.9 million to 10,000 nonprofits through the third quarter, setting it on track to increase its company-wide philanthropy by more than 10 percent this year. Last year, Wells Fargo donated $14.4 million to area nonprofits, and is on track to give even more this year.

Wells Fargo employees are also feeling philanthropic. This year’s Community Support Campaign, essentially charitable giving by Wells Fargo employees, was a record $6.3 million. The campaign closed on Friday, but a few last gifts continue to trickle in. About 9,700 Wells employees have contributed.