07/24/2012 03:16 pm ET

10 Companies That Gave Most Cash To Charity In 2011: Chronicle Of Philanthropy (SLIDESHOW)

These days, most companies claim to also be in the business of giving. But which corporations really put their money where their mouths are?

Donations by the largest U.S. businesses grew by 4 percent last year, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The publication points out it's far less than the 13-percent increase from 2009 to 2010, when corporate giving rebounded post-recession.

Recent trends in corporate charity include a focus on impact investing, skills-based volunteering, turning social media engagement into action and more, highlighted by The Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy conference held last month in New York.

And when it comes to quality vs. quantity, corporations are focusing more efforts on organizations that align with their DNA, according to Margaret Coady, HuffPost blogger and director of the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy.

"Companies are making fewer grants, grant amounts are increasing, and companies are selecting social causes that tie to the company's expertise rather than spreading funding across many issue areas," she writes.

Five companies surveyed by the Chronicle increased their giving by more than 50 percent to causes they deemed important, with Starbucks growing its giving by nearly 197 percent.

Still, the median donation share in company profits was 1 percent, according to the Chronicle. And corporate giving made up just 5 percent of last year's giving total, while individual giving amounted to 73 percent of the total, according to Giving USA Foundation and its research partner, the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Some leaders in the world of charitable giving haven't been so impressed.

Paul Clolery, The NonProfit Times publisher and editorial director, called on corporate foundations to be required to give more:

"Here's something to legislate, mandate that corporate foundations pay out at least 15 percent each year, instead of the paltry 5 percent of the value of the foundation's net investment assets that is currently required," he writes. "It's time for Corporate America to stand up and do more. The charitable sector needs to demand more participation from its corporate supporters."

Click through the slideshow below to see which major companies gave the most last year.