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Wells Fargo, Target among 10 ‘most generous’ companies in U.S.

Wells Fargo, which maintains a large presence in Minnesota, and retail giant Target are among 10 of the most charitable Fortune 500 companies in the United States, according to a recent report.

REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Wells Fargo & Company and Target Corporation ranked highly on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s recently released list of Fortune 500 companies that donated the most cash in 2012.

For its list, the Washington, D.C.-based newspaper surveyed 300 of the largest revenue-producing companies in the United States based on their Fortune 500 rankings. A total of 106 companies provided information, whichThe Chronicle used to rank companies based on their 2012 charitable donations.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which offers banking and other financial services, topped the list, having donated roughly $316 million in 2012.

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According to the report, Wells Fargo’s charitable giving in 2012 mainly consisted of a $77 million donation to NeighborWorks America—a Washington, D.C.-based network of more than 230 nationwide affordable housing nonprofits—for its NeighborhoodLift program. The program provides down-payment assistance to first-time homebuyers in neighborhoods affected by the housing crisis. Wells Fargo also gave $6.7 million to the Opportunity Finance Network, Inc.,—a Philadelphia-based organization of investment firms that finance community businesses—for an awards program that recognizes nonprofits that provide banking services in low-income communities.

Wells Fargo maintains a large presence in Minnesota: It currently operates 211 branch, home mortgage, and advisor offices in the state where 20,000 of its 275,000 worldwide employees work.

Minneapolis-based retail giant Target ranked ninth on the list, having donated approximately $147 million in cash and roughly $77 million-worth of products in 2012. The company declined to provide information to The Chronicle of Philanthropy regarding the organizations it endorsed. Target currently employs 31,035 in Minnesota and 361,000 worldwide.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corporation; and New York-based Goldman Sachs Group also made The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of charitable companies. Click here for the full list.

Twin Cities BusinessMeanwhile, Wells Fargo may be poised to add new Minnesota jobs, or at least, move existing employees to a new location. Dave Kvamme, CEO of Wells Fargo Minnesota, recently told the Minneapolis City Council’s community development committee that the company is interested in buying the top 12 floors of each of the two 20-story office towers outlined in Ryan Companies’ proposed $400 million Downtown East redevelopment project

A Wells Fargo representative told Twin Cities Business Wednesday in an e-mailed statement that the company is “still evaluating that opportunity.”

Wells Fargo and Target are among the 10-largest employers in Minnesota. Additionally, Target is among Minnesota’s five-largest public companies based on revenue.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.