Obviously when buying shares from a public offering, those funds are basically going to the corporation making the offering; that's the whole point. So for this question we are discussing the purchase of shares of stock already issued.
EDIT FOR CLARITY: Some people have linked This, related question and suggested it is the same. My intent here is far more specific, and I am seeking evidence that challenges my understanding (should it exist). I am not interested in generic 'support' of companies. I am asking explicitly about ways in which a company might receive liquid assets as a direct (or reasonably proximal indirect) consequence of an open-market purchase of their stock.
Context: A great deal of ink gets spilled about divestment. There seems to be two lines of argument in favor of divestment as a strategy:
The first is that institutions who rely on investment income, either from endowments or for their retirement plan offerings, and hold positions in controversial industries (fossil fuels being the most visible right now, but divestment efforts have come out for everything under the sun) are perversely incentivized to support those controversial industries in order to protect their long-run interests. By divesting, they not only repair their own incentive structures, but they also protect themselves from the risk that controversial industries experience a decline.
The second, which is both more common and to my (well read, but amateur) understanding utterly fictitious, is that when you buy stock in a company, your dollars are somehow going to that company and advancing its business interests.
It is this second argument which I'm interested in exploring.
To wit: To what extent does Generic Company, Inc. receive revenue when I buy shares on the market?