Fortune 500’s 5 Most Benevolent Businesses

The saying “With great power comes great responsibility has been quoted by everyone from Winston Churchill to Uncle Ben in Spiderman, but that doesn’t invalidate it; the more power you have to affect change the more responsibility you have to make changes for those who can’t do it for themselves. This holds especially true for businesses who not only have the power to make change but have the capital to go along with it. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is ever-growing in importance among consumers, prompting businesses to reevaluate and find ways to leverage their positions to better society as a whole; some companies have fully embraced the idea of CSR and are giving back millions that they’ve earned each year, and the best of the best are no exceptions. Take a look at the 5 most benevolent businesses that are also on the Fortune 500 list.

  1. Gilead Sciences
    • Founded in 1987 in Foster City, Ca., the research and biopharmaceutical company works daily to develop and help commercialize medicines in areas that need them most. It operates philanthropically under the Gilead Foundation, established in 2005, and strives to provide underserved areas around the world with the health care and education they need, focusing on widening access to education, outreach, and prevention of HIV and hepatitis. In 2015, Gilead’s cash contributions totalled $446.7 million.
  2. Walmart
    • Perhaps the most household business on the list, Walmart was founded in 1962 and is an American-based multinational retail chain operating out of 28 countries with more than 11,500 stores worldwide. Walmart operates a number of charities that operate on both a national and multinational level, striving to help those in areas stricken by hunger, malnourishment, and disasters. In 2015, Walmart’s total amount donated was $301 million.
  3. Wells Fargo
    • Wells Fargo is one of the largest banks in the country, so much so that it employs about 1 in 600 of Americans in the workforce and serves a third of all American households. It has earned a reputation as a well-respected financial institution, receiving praise from Barron’s magazine and Forbes’s alike for outstanding customer service. Each year, the business supports thousands of local and national nonprofits working to better their communities, and donated $281.3 million in 2015.
  4. Goldman Sachs Group
    • An American-based finance business that operates on a multinational level, Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 to help its clients manage their finances, and now provides prime brokerage, advice on acquisitions and mergers, underwriting services, and asset management to all of its clients. In 2008, Goldman Sachs pledged to give more of its capital to help the underprivileged, donating over $1.6 billion since then and $276.4 million in the year 2015 alone.
  5. ExxonMobil
    • American-based ExxonMobil is the largest publicly traded international gas and oil company in the world, operating for 17 years. Exxon’s philanthropic outreach operates through the ExxonMobil Foundation where it focuses primarily on promoting change through fighting malaria as well as creating opportunities for women to find economic stability and further their education in math and science. In 2015, ExxonMobil charitably gave $268 million.