Study Shows Wine Industry Tops National Average for Corporate Giving

Support for Community Non-Profits on Par with Job Creation, Environmental Stewardship in Survey of Wine Producers
November 4, 2016

Rohnert Park, California - The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) today unveiled a study of wine businesses in California, Oregon, and Washington that shows charitable giving to community-based organizations totaled one percent of pre-tax profit on average, surpassing the U.S. national average of .82 percent across all industries. The new research examines the extent of philanthropy undertaken by wine businesses as compared to other industries, to determine the motivations for giving and the expected benefits.​

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A survey of wine producers in three states showed that corporate giving among 99 of 100 respondents includes product, staff time, and cash donations to charities, educational institutions, cultural and art organizations, health-related institutions, and welfare or community causes. The primary motivations cited for philanthropy are a desire to help others and uphold the values of owners, employees, and customers, as opposed to strategic considerations.      

"Previous research on public perception of the wine industry told us that people embrace wine businesses in their communities for aesthetic and economic reasons. This new study shows that corporate citizenship within the industry extends beyond agricultural heritage, environmental stewardship, and job creation, to direct charitable contributions at the highest level," Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute said.

The study on philanthropy in the U.S. wine industry was conducted by Korbel Professor, Dr. Armand Gilinsky. For more information regarding wine business research, or for information regarding certificate and degree programs in wine business, please contact (707) 664-2377, email, or visit

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About the Wine Business Institute
The Wine Business Institute (WBI) is an education and research institute of the School of Business and Economics (SBE) at Sonoma State University (SSU). SSU is the first institution of higher learning in the U.S. to offer certificates and degrees focused on the business of wine. It is the first school of business in the world to offer an executive-level wine business degree. In 2016, SSU will break ground on the Wine Spectator Learning Center, a 15,000-square-foot state-of-the-art education complex dedicated to leadership training for a dynamic and changing wine industry. With its unique location, expert faculty, and deep relationships in the world of wine, SSU attracts current and future professionals from California and around the world to experience the wealth of connections among students, alumni, and industry leaders.