Hidden in Plain Sight: The Role of Corporate Board of Directors in Public Charity Lobbying

66 Pages Posted: 29 Sep 2020 Last revised: 2 Dec 2021

See all articles by Changhyun Ahn

Changhyun Ahn

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Joel F. Houston

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Sehoon Kim

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Date Written: December 1, 2021

Abstract

We show that public charities with corporate directors on their boards are more likely to lobby on behalf of connected corporate interests. We document corporate influence on nonprofit lobbying decisions using granular fixed effects, alternative measures and subsamples, and shocks to board connections. The effects of connections are stronger when firms themselves have greater lobbying expenditures, when their directors are more politically networked, and when charities face funding constraints. Suggesting aligned interests, connected firms benefit from more procurement contracts and charities from more grants and donations. Our results highlight executive charitable engagement as a complementary avenue for corporate political activities.

Keywords: Corporate Political Activities, Corporate Social Responsibility, Board of Directors, Political Connections, Lobbying, Public Charities, Nonprofit Organizations

JEL Classification: D72, G34, G38, P16

Suggested Citation

Ahn, Changhyun and Houston, Joel F. and Kim, Sehoon, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Role of Corporate Board of Directors in Public Charity Lobbying (December 1, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3700649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3700649

Changhyun Ahn

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate ( email )

P.O. Box 117168
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

Joel F. Houston

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate ( email )

P.O. Box 117168
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

Sehoon Kim (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate ( email )

P.O. Box 117168
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States

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