Tag Archives: philanthropic efforts

New York Giants

The New York Giants: The Giant's History

Credited with introducing the city of New York to football, the New York Giants have a history that is nearly as big as the team’s name.

Wellington Mara, at only the age of 14, along with his 21-year old brother Jack, took ownership of the five-year-old team in 1930 only to become the world’s youngest football team owner. Their father Tim Mara was the first owner who bought the team for a reported $500.

One of the first notable games, dubbed the “Sneakers Game,” was in 1934 where the Giants beat the Chicago Bears 30-13. The game was played in nine-degree weather, and the players were given basketball shoes to increase traction on the icy field.

Six years later, World War II comes and brings along with it many challenges for most National Football League teams. Losing many players to military service, many teams had to take desperate measures to keep the sport alive, including merging two different teams into one. The Giants, however — as their name implies — were bigger than these challenges and managed to not only survive through the War years, but also make it to three NFL championship games.

The next decade, the 1950’s, looked even more promising for the Giants as they recruited Tom Landry, Frank Gifford, Sam Huff and a few other players who would redefine the team, the NFL and football at large. Coached by Hall of Famers, these and other players also landed Hall of Fame recognition for their performance for the Giants.

Gifford, who played for the team from 1952 to 1964, holds the Giants team record of 788 touchdowns. He played in seven Pro Bowls and was named All-NFL four times. In 1953 and for the first (and only) time in the NFL, he was named to the Pro Bowl as both a defensive back and an offensive back in the following year. During his career, the Giants caught up to the NFL Championship five times and won the world championship in 1956.

The team lost many of their key players in the 1960’s, a decade that marked a turning point for the Giants. A series of repeated injuries and retirements left the team weary and uncertain through the decade and well into the 1970’s. During the ’70s, the Giants finished in last place or next-to-last eight times. This long history of losing, however, ended in 1986 with the team’s first appearance on the Super Bowl since 1956.

Four years later, the dramatic 20-19 score won the Giants their second Super Bowl over the Buffalo Bills, and three years later, in 1993, the team now had a co-owner, after 60 years of sole ownership by the Mara Family. The co-owner, Preston Robert Tisch, was a native of New York City and a lifelong fan.

Dan Reeves, hired in 1993 as head coach, brought back the Giants to the Super Bowl. The 1990’s started the team’s yet existing success with the NFL’s most promising coaches, like Jim Fassel, and the Pro Bowl players, like Eli Manning.

The Giants continue to keep Americans on their toes with their more recent Super Bowl Victory last weekend. The team scored 9 points in the first quarter, none in the second and 6 points in each of the third and fourth quarters, leaving them only four points ahead of the defeated New England Patriots.

To see who the Giants will be playing against and where, see the Spring Training Schedule. 

Most Admired Companies - AZ Business Magazine Sept/Oct 2010

2010 Most Admired Companies Winners – Social Responsibility

The Social Responsibility category recognizes companies that excel in corporate giving, volunteerism, philanthropic efforts, and/or “green” initiatives.

Winner: St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center
Social Responsibility
Year Est.:
No. of Employees in AZ: 5,342
Recent Award: Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 10 Hospitals in the nations for neurology and neurosurgery – 2010-2011
www.chw.edu | www.stjosephs-phx.org | Facebook | Twitter

video by Sonoran Studios

St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center participates in outreach programs that touch local and global communities. By donating medical equipment that can no longer be used at the hospital to Project C.U.R.E., St. Joseph’s helps citizens in more than 120 countries. This program also is one of the many ways St. Joseph’s is a good steward of the global environment. Also, the hospital’s Commuter Options program offers incentives to employees who carpool, bike, walk or use the bus or light rail to get to work. Several recycling programs are in place at St. Joseph’s, and eco-friendly materials, such as automatic faucets and low-impact lighting, are used in the hospital.

St. Joseph’s provides care to the un- and underinsured in Maricopa County through several programs. The hospital helps uninsured patients by running a clinic for students at Crockett Elementary School, and the MOMobile gives prenatal care to uninsured pregnant women. Physicians at St. Joseph’s support a clinic at St. Vincent de Paul that provides medical services to underinsured patients.

In addition, each year St. Joseph’s employees contribute about 25,000 cans of food to the St. Vincent de Paul holiday food drive. About 450 employees participated in the 2010 American Heart Association’s Heart and Stroke Walk and raised more than $40,000. St. Joseph’s also hosts seven blood drives annually, and each year these drives maintain or surpass the gold standard goal set by United Blood Services. These programs are only a few examples of the approximately 100 community partners St. Joseph’s works with to bring care to Arizonans in need.

Wist Owners

Finalist: Wist Office Products
Social Responsibility
Year Est.:
No. of Employees in AZ:
Recent Award:
Ranking Arizona’s Best of the Best award – 2010

Wist Office Products is committed to giving back to the community and the environment. The company has converted more than 70 percent of its customers to using e-bills in order to reduce paper usage. Wist’s truck fleet has been upgraded to a higher emission standard, and a carpooling and ride-sharing program is available for employees to take advantage of. Wist is committed to sustainability not just within the company. It also created the Blue Bin Recycling Program so customers can recycle toners free of charge.

The company also has several structured programs that encourage employees to give back to the community. Ian Wist, the general manager of the company, started Phoenix Forty, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Phoenix youth. In addition to Phoenix Forty, the company has provided the Phoenix Boys & Girls Clubs with backpacks and office and school supplies for members. Also, Wist and the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits have a three-year partnership through which Wist gives local nonprofit organizations rebates on Wist’s products.


Finalist: LifeLock
Social Responsibility
Year Est.:
No. of Employees in AZ:
Recent Award:
Arizona Business Leadership Association’s ABL Leadership Award  – 2009
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LifeLock’s companywide belief, “Do what you should, not what you can,” has led the company to create several programs designed to support and educate the community. Every LifeLock employee receives 24 hours of paid volunteer time off. LifeLock strives to provide volunteer opportunities in a variety of activities in order to include all employees’ interests. In 2010, LifeLock aligned with Junior Achievement and HomeBase Youth Services, both designed to help local youth.

LifeLock also donates time and effort to educating law enforcement officials on new ways to protect citizens against identity theft. In 2009, the company partnered with the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Association to create a series of free Identity Theft Summits. The summits provided law enforcement officials with an arena to share information about preventing the growing crime of identity theft. The success of the events in 2009 led to LifeLock initiating 36 events in 2010.

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go to MagCloud.com

Arizona's Most Admired Companies November-December 2010

Nonprofits struggling to provide services for those in need

The Charitable Challenge

The construction industry has faced more difficulties than any other in this recession. The industry lost 45,800 jobs year-over-year in September, the most of any sector in Arizona. Despite that grim number, many construction companies still are trying to give back to the community in any way they can. Hunt Construction is one of them.

When the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the poor, needed new vehicles to help with day-to-day operations, Hunt didn’t hesitate. The company essentially donated vehicles to the nonprofit by selling it two trucks for a mere $2.

“The construction industry, like so many industries in Arizona today, is facing a number of challenges. Having said that, I am just amazed at how generous they have been to us,” says Steve Zabilski, executive director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. “The vehicles are pickup trucks that are in great shape and we use them almost daily in our various operations”

Hunt wasn’t the only one to step up to the philanthropy plate and help the charity during these difficult economic times. Another contractor, Gilbane Building Company, made St. Vincent de Paul a beneficiary of its golf tournament this past year, resulting in a $10,000 gift.

This generosity is just one example of companies’ ongoing commitment to philanthropic efforts despite a recession that has left the world reeling from its impact.

Recession reductions
The Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits conducted a survey of member nonprofit organizations in February 2009 about the effects of the economy from the beginning of 2008. The survey also included projections for 2009. The results found that “one-half of nonprofits reported that their revenues declined in 2008, and two-thirds said they expect revenues to be down further in 2009.” This equates to about 75 percent of nonprofits working with reduced budgets this year.

“The largest decrease in donations was from foundations, which decreased an average of 26 percent. That was followed by corporate donations, which declined an average 24 percent,” says Patrick McWhortor, president of the Arizona Alliance of Nonprofits. Individual contributions decreased approximately 14 percent.

Elaine Fogel, communications chair of the Arizona chapter of fundraising professionals, echoes these sentiments.

“I think that based on both anecdotal (evidence) and statistics, we are definitely seeing a downturn in charitable giving across the board. Locally, regionally, nationally, absolutely,” Fogel says.

According to the survey, on average, revenues decreased 19 percent in 2008, and nonprofits expect that number to decrease another 18 percent this year.

Organizations such as the Sojourner Center that receive funding from the government also have seen revenues shrink.

“Our losses really came from receiving a severe cut in our government contracts,” says Connie Phillips, executive director of the Sojourner Center, which helps families in crisis. “I anticipate in the state of Arizona we will continue to see funding from the government decrease. … If we lose even more of our government funding and have to pick even more from the philanthropic community, how do we retool?”

The Piper Notebook, a magazine published three times a year by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust states: “If life as a nonprofit has always been difficult in Arizona, the economic recession has further strained capacity. Nonprofits face lower revenues as government shrinks, fund endowments decline and individual contributions dip.”

Increased needs
With fewer resources but an amplified need for services, nonprofits are forced to make do with less. The recession has caused an increase in demand for a variety of services, with vital basic needs such as food and shelter high on the list.

“More than 80 percent of organizations saw demand for services grow in 2008 and 2009,” McWhortor says. “Of course, this issue is most concentrated with nonprofits who serve our most vulnerable populations — workers who have lost their jobs, homeowners facing foreclosure, homeless families and youth, people who are hungry. These issues will become more urgent in the coming months as further reductions in state funding for programs undercut the ability of nonprofits to serve the elderly, disabled and economically stressed populations.”

Merl Waschler, president and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW), says thousands of individuals and families are turning to VSUW and the nonprofit network for assistance. The organization’s partner agencies also are citing an increased demand in several areas, particularly food and shelter.
The nonprofits face a wrenching conundrum: Demand is higher than ever due to the poor economy, but since the economy is bad, philanthropic organizations can’t get additional funding to meet their goals and provide the community with the services it requires.

Philanthropic struggles
Just as different industries were affected by the recession in various ways, so too were philanthropic organizations. While basic-needs organizations struggle to keep up, arts organizations face their own set of challenges during this exceptionally tough year.

“We were hit as aggressively as anyone. A lot of what you see at the foundation level and/or the corporate level, some of the emergency social service needs are kind of the priority, and rightfully so,” says Seth Sulka, director of development at the Valley Youth Theatre.

Sulka says the Valley Youth Theatre saw significant drops in both ticket sales and contributions and stresses that it’s important to remember about all types of nonprofits.

“We can’t forget about the arts and expect every organization to have the resiliency to weather such a storm,” she says.

As a private nonprofit contracted by the city of Scottsdale to administer city arts and cultural projects, the Scottsdale Cultural Council also was hit by the realities of the recession. The council encompasses the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and the Scottsdale Public Art Program. It saw an approximate 22 percent year-over-year decrease of contributed revenue (from individuals, corporations and foundations).

“Like almost every arts organization, we experienced a loss of contributed and earned revenue as a result of the recession, which also happened to coincide with the renovation of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. Because our main theater was closed for more than a year, we had already planned to operate on a reduced budget,” says William H. Banchs, president and CEO of the Scottsdale Cultural Council.

The center continues to move forward and is implementing necessary changes to weather the economic storm.

“Throughout the season, we tightened our belts and focused on our mission and programming,” he says. “We made very personal, one-on-one efforts to engage our donors, as well.”

Photos from left to right:
Intel employees serve as e-Mentors to students at Scales Technology Academy in Tempe. They help youngsters build computer and communication skills. Photo Intel Corp.

NASCAR legend Richard Petty auctioned off one of his cars for charity at last year’s Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale. Photo: Barrett-Jackson Auction Company.

Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Grant Scholarships

Times Are Tough For Everyone, And Students Trying To Fund Their Educations Are No Exception

With college tuition constantly on the rise, the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation is doing its part to help deserving Hispanic students throughout the Valley pay for their educations.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization whose main goal is to provide scholarships to Hispanic students attending Arizona post-secondary schools. The foundation also supports philanthropic efforts within the Latino community.

“As chairman of the board for the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC), one of the accomplishments that I am most proud of is the establishment of a scholarship program,” says Robert Espiritu, who works in acquisition marketing for American Express’ International Business Unit.

Espiritu developed the scholarship initiative in 2008, during the 50th anniversary of the chamber’s Black and White Business Awards Ball — the longest-running black-tie event in Phoenix.

In order to commemorate the anniversary, Espiritu developed the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation Scholarship Program, which now has grown into a permanent component of the awards.

Espiritu also decided on an unconventional way to raise money for the scholarships.

“The idea I had was to ask the audience for pledges for scholarships,” Espiritu says.

The donations began with companies who had pre-committed to donating money and continued from there. “It was kind of spontaneous; I just wanted to ask people if they wanted to join the donation …” Espiritu says.Soon, “call-outs” were made from attendees pledging various amounts to the scholarship fund. Those who pledged then came on stage and stated their pledge amounts.

The 2008 event turned out to be a huge success. Donors big and small, from individuals to corporations, banded together to raise nearly $110,000.
“The generosity on the part of our corporate citizens and individuals has been amazing and gives me great faith that even with this down economy we still have the support from our community,” Espiritu says.

Despite the difficult economic climate, an additional $35,000 was raised in 2009. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Qwest Communications, Humana, Wells Fargo, APS and SRP were some of the larger corporations to contribute at this year’s ball.

“To date, the AZHCC Foundation has raised approximately $140,000 in scholarships for deserving and aspiring Latino students,” Espiritu says. “I want to personally thank all of our donors for their contributions. Without them, all of this would not be possible.”

On May 19 of this year, 60 Latino students were presented with the scholarships at a private dinner at the Wrigley Mansion. Scholarship recipients ranged from first-generation college students to graduate students.

“To be awarded such esteemed honors means that my hard work paid off. But I still have so much more to do to prove that I am worthy of such recognitions,” says Annalili Chacon, a recipient of the scholarship and a Barack Obama Scholar at Arizona State University.

Cosme Madrid, a student at ASU, also received a scholarship.

“I wanted to apply for this scholarship simply because it applied to who I was. … I learned that the chamber of commerce supports Hispanics to get a higher education and so I went for it,” he says.

Madrid adds that being selected a winner “is a great feeling because it shows the hard work that I have done throughout my high school career to get to where I am and to receive this scholarship.”

Both recipients are grateful for the financial relief the scholarships provide and are better prepared for the road ahead.

“It is so important for us to reach out and help future generations of students, and for the Hispanic chamber especially to be able to assist our Latino students,” Espiritu says. “These students will become our future leaders and the goal of AZHCC’s scholarship program is to help facilitate the development of our future leaders through education.”