Using a nationwide survey of Chinese private small- and medium-sized enterprises, this study examines the effect of business owners’ achieved social status (AcSS) on corporate philanthropy (CP). AcSS is an institutional resource, sometimes an institutional constraint, which should lead to higher CP. In this study, it is measured by a composite index of business owners’ income, education, political ties, and individual donations. AcSS has a positive effect on CP. In different regressions, we find that individual variables, income, political ties, and individual donations are positively associated with CP, while the effect of education is not significant. Firm visibility moderates (weakens) the effect of AcSS, while owners’ equity ratio has no discernable moderation effect on CP. Overall, this study confirms that owners’ AcSS, an important resource for the firm, plays a significant role in corporate social behavior. It increases pressures and expectations from the public, leading to higher CP.