Giving back isn’t just the right thing to do for the communities a business serves, it also might be the best thing for its bottom line.
According to the 2015 Giving in Numbers report, a study that examined the corporate philanthropic endeavors of 271 of the world’s largest companies from 2012-2014, the impact of societal investment was positively correlated with financial performance.
“The companies most deeply invested in society were also the ones that saw the most robust financial performance,” the report highlights.
In an era where there is a war for talent and keeping the best and brightest on staff, Gallup reports that only 32.5 percent of U.S. workers are engaged. That’s discouraging to both managers and human resources professionals considering the many benefits of engaged employees — increased job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, higher performance.
Experts say corporate philanthropy gives employers a chance to engage employees in a unique and fulfilling way. A recent report from Realized Worth found that in companies where employees were more engaged than not:
Profitability jumped by 16 percent
General productivity grew 18 percent
Customer loyalty increased 12 percent
Quality improved by 60 percent
If there was ever a place to get engaged in the community, Arizona is the place to do it. A land filled with transplants and newcomers, Arizona offers tremendous opportunities to become part of the fabric of the communities in which we live.
“When I first moved to Phoenix, right after finishing law school at the University of Arizona, I started to explore ways to get involved in the community,” says Nicole Stanton, office managing partner at Quarles & Brady. “Phoenix is a wide open place, thirsty for leadership and for people to become engaged. It did not take me long to find numerous places to volunteer, including UMOM and Arizona Animal Welfare League.”
Stanton, who started the Dion Initiative for Child Well-Being and Bullying Prevention, isn’t alone in her passion to give back. In this holiday season, Az Business casts the holiday spotlight on 25 companies — in alphabetical order — that are giving back to Arizona communities and whose philanthropic ways are gifts we can all admire and emulate.
In 2016, Abrazo West Campus partnered with Homeless Youth Connection to host a shoe drive to benefit homeless teens on March 13 and Abrazo employees raised $94,629 for the American Heart Association’s 2016 Phoenix Heart Walk.
Alliance Bank of Arizona donated $100,000 to College Success Arizona, which will benefit students in Phoenix-metro, Tucson and Northern Arizona enrolling in a Community College.
As part of The Salvation Army/American Express 2015 Pack to School drive, employees donated more than 273,000 items for underprivileged children in Arizona and spent countless hours sorting, packing and distributing the supplies to needy students throughout Arizona.
APS’ 2015 community investment in Arizona totaled more than $10 million, which included grants, sponsorships and in-kind donations from APS and the APS Foundation. In addition, APS employees donated more than 123,000 hours in volunteer time, an economic impact of $2.8 million.
Cardinals Charities supports programs designed to improve the quality of life and enhance opportunities for children, women and minorities in Arizona. Since its inception, Cardinals Charities has distributed more than $9.1 million to worthy charitable organizations.
In 2012, the organization coined the phrase, “D-backs Give Back,” a simple and concise phrase to explain the team’s dedication to the community. To date, the Diamondbacks and the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation have made charitable contributions totaling more than $45 million.
Avnet’s employee volunteering and charitable giving program, Avnet Cares, is one of the company’s most successful corporate social responsibility programs. In 2015, Avnet donated $1,191,399 to 284 nonprofit organizations — mostly children’s services and education — and Avnet employees volunteered 15,153 hours.
In May, Bank of America hand-delivered nearly $300,000 in grants in just three hours to 18 local nonprofits which will help more than 225,000 low and moderate income people receive job training, skills development, internships and employment placement.
Barrett-Jackson raised $3,406,000 for local and national charitable organizations during its 2016 auction at WestWorld of Scottsdale, bringing Barrett-Jackson’s total raised to date for charities to just over $88 million.
Five Arizona teachers and their schools received $5,000 grants from BCBSAZ to fund programs that fight childhood obesity. The grants were awarded based on the execution of the Walk On! Challenge, a health and fitness challenge that has reached more than 307,000 children.
Clear Title raised more than $15,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the East Valley through a month-long “5-for-5” program. Clear Title donated $5 from every transaction closed in June and also raised outside donations.
Phoenix Children’s Hospital received a $200,000 grant from the James M. Cox Foundation — named after the founder of Cox Communications — to support the hospital’s “Connected Patient Project,” which provides customized patient care information on tablets.
Since its inception, the Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation has provided more than $7 million in community grants to oral health promotion and dental disease prevention programs. The Foundation passes out free toothbrushes – 119,916 in 2015 – to make sure children have their own toothbrush.
To celebrate its 75th anniversary, Desert Schools launched Shine On, which recognizes six worthy causes with grants of $5,000 each and the opportunity for each of them to earn an additional $5,000 through online votes.
GoDaddy, which has donated more than $15 million to charitable organizations, supported 65 nonprofits through sponsorships and grants in 2015, donating close to $800,000 to organizations who foster STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), computer science education and entrepreneurship.
In 2015, Lovitt & Touché committed more than $500,000 to charitable and professional associations and is on track to meet or surpass that in 2016. The company earned the Copper Cactus Award for Lifetime Achievement for Community Service from the Tucson Chamber of Commerce.
Over the years, Michael Pollack has donated more than $4.6 million dollars between cash donations, discounted or free rent and other in-kind contributions to Goodwill of Central Arizona.
In 2015, NB|AZ formed NB|AZ Charities, which is dedicated to providing support and resources to Arizona nonprofit agencies, especially those focused on affordable housing, arts and culture, community services, economic development, education, health and human services and neighborhood stabilization.
Petsmart Charities is committed to ending pet homelessness by investing in more than 3,000 animal welfare groups across the nation. The group has helped find homes for more than 6 million pets — representing one of every pet adoptions in the U.S.
Phoenix Suns Charities has been focused on doing all it can to improve its community since 1988. Since its creation, Phoenix Suns Charities has invested more than $17 million in their community. This year alone, the charity gave more than $1.2 million to Arizona nonprofits.
The firm is a signatory to the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge, which challenges firms to contribute three percent of the firm’s total billable hours to pro bono work. Quarles & Brady recorded 19,800 pro bono hours in 2014, the equivalent of nine full-time lawyers.
The goal of SRP’s Corporate Contributions program is to make the community a better place for its customers and employees to live and do business. During fiscal year 2016, SRP supported the community through monetary and in-kind contributions totaling $3,387,052.
The Sundt Foundation was created in 1999 and focused on the needs of disadvantaged children and adults. Getting most of its funding through employee-owner contributions, the foundation has donated more than $7.2 million to community organizations and programs that benefit U.S. military members and their families.
The United Health Foundation awarded the Maricopa County Department of Public Health a $1 million grant to support the Preventive Health Collaborative, which helps to ensure that all children from birth to five years of age, and their families, are living healthier lives.
In 2015, Wells Fargo & Company donated more than $8 million to support Arizona schools and nonprofits, while its employees volunteered 110,344 hours. Wells Fargo Arizona team members’ volunteer hours impacted 2,970 Arizona nonprofits, schools and community organizations.