While questions over authenticity and transparency have raised some red flags over the past few years, spending on causes remains alive and well.

Sponsorship spending on causes is expected to total $1.78 billion in 2013, up 4.8 percent from 2012.

While the increase is up significantly from the 1.2 percent increase from 2011 to 2012, it trails the projected 5.5 percent growth for the overall sponsorship industry.

Compared to other property sectors, the increase lags spending on sports (6 percent) and entertainment (5.1 percent) but exceeds associations and membership organizations (4 percent); the arts (3.3 percent); and festivals, fairs and annual events (2.9 percent).

The retail, financial services and pharmaceutical categories are the most active industries sponsoring causes, while Bank of America Corp., The Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. are the most active sponsors.

Most Active Companies Sponsoring Causes
Most Active Companies Sponsoring Causes
*Bank of America sponsors 18 percent of all causes.

Most Prevalent Categories Sponsoring Causes
 Most Prevalent Categories Sponsoring Causes
*Retailers are 7.5 times more likely to sponsor causes than the average of all sponsors.