Disney aims to maintain its level of giving

Walt Disney World, which announced last week that it made more than $32.5 million worth of charitable contributions last year, says it is aiming to give at the same pace this year, even amid the worst economy in a generation.

“Our goal for 2009 is to maintain current levels of charitable giving,” said Eugene Robinson, Disney World’s vice president for community relations and minority-business development.

Robinson stopped short of a complete vow that this year’s charitable giving will match last year’s, saying Disney has to “continue to monitor the economy.” But he said the resort is hoping to preserve the amount of its donations by shaving costs that don’t directly affect its contribution levels.

For instance, Robinson said, Disney intends to scale back its often elaborate check presentations and donation ceremonies.

“We’re looking at plans and opportunities to announce and celebrate in a more modest fashion that is in alignment with the tone of the current economic environment,” Robinson said.

Disney’s 2008 donations included about $8 million worth of direct-cash contributions and another $24.5 million worth of goods and services, ranging from $1.1 million toward construction of a new Boys & Girls Club in Pine Hills to 704,845 pounds of food. Company employees also volunteered a combined 204,000 hours through Disney World’s VoluntEars program.


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