Competition to gain and keep customers gets tougher all the time, thanks, in part, to the trying economy. Finding innovative ways to attract new clients—and convincing them to stick around—is an ever-present challenge. As it turns out, more companies have discovered that one of the best ways to attract and retain customers is actually an idea that has been around awhile—corporate giving.
Giving back doesn’t necessarily mean pulling out the checkbook, either. “In light of today’s economic challenges, being a good corporate citizen doesn’t always mean giving money, although funding for nonprofits is always a critical need,” says Katie Edwards, director of marketing for the Center for Nonprofit Management in Dallas. “It can also mean being engaged in something worthwhile. Companies may have to cut back on charitable dollars, but they don’t have to cut back on time spent supporting worthy causes, from serving on boards to hands-on volunteering in the community. More local CEOs and companies have come to us to learn about the many ways of giving back to and creating value for the area’s nonprofits.”
In uncertain times, these CEOs are watching their budgets closer than ever before and want to feel good about where they place their charitable dollars. Nonprofits are stepping up to show them creative ways they can support their cause. Whether CEOs give of their time, dollars, or both, the effect of supporting local nonprofits can result in big returns as customers feel more comfortable doing business with companies that are involved in social issues and responsible business practices.
There are 19,336 registered 501(c)(3) organizations in the 16 counties that make up North Texas. Everyone is touched by a nonprofit in some way, but the number and scope of the nonprofit’s in the area often surprises people. Because of the challenging economy, local nonprofits are struggling more than ever before, too. Giving back to the community that helped them grow and succeed is something more CEOs are proud to do. Looking for inspiration on ways your own company can “give back”? Here are some examples of how local businesses and CEOs are helping the community.
Bank of Texas
Many people think of their community simply as the place where they live, work, and play. At Bank of Texas, the community is its livelihood. For that reason, Bank of Texas believes in giving back every day and in many different ways. “Serving our community is more than a commitment,” says Norm Bagwell, chairman and CEO for Bank of Texas. “It’s our culture.”
Bank of Texas believes making all of its communities strong is more than a good idea—it’s good business. Supporting the community means healthier families and more productive citizens. It means a robust economy with thriving businesses. It also means supporting an ethnically diverse and inclusive work environment.
More than anything else, strengthening the community is an investment in the future. Bank of Texas’ approach to service is diverse. Its goal is to generate a lasting impact by providing a variety of other donations including in-kind contributions and employees’ time and talent. In the last year, Bank of Texas supported hundreds of organizations throughout Texas. Support consists of monetary contributions as well as gifts of goods and services ranging from technology equipment to school supplies.
For instance, Bank of Texas is the proud presenting sponsor of “The Trains at Northpark” that helps support the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. Additionally, the Fort Worth and Dallas Bank of Texas teams raise thousands of dollars every year for the March of Dimes.
Bank of Texas’ community outreach is successful because of its employees, and they contribute thousands of community service to hundreds of organizations. They collected books to donate and read to underprivileged children. They painted houses. They planted trees. They picked up trash and debris to make the community more attractive and enjoyable. And they’ve collectively walked hundreds of miles to raise money for many worthwhile causes. A thriving community continually improves its standards of living, and Bank of Texas believes strongly in supporting these efforts.
Baylor Health Care System
Baylor Health Care System recently opened a Diabetes Health and Wellness Institute in an underserved community in South Dallas which may ultimately influence the way diabetes is treated and prevented around the country. Diabetes alone accounts for one-in-five health care dollars spent in the U.S. today. Each American right now spends $700 a year on this disease, whether they have it or not. And it is estimated that in 10 years, one-in-three Americans will be diabetic.
The Institute, which opened in June, brings treatment and prevention where it is needed most. Residents in the Institute’s zip code are three-times more likely to die from diabetes compared to those living in Dallas as a whole. With an average income of $9,000, many of the area’s residents cannot afford transportation to doctors’ offices or hospitals outside of the neighborhood, nor can they afford healthy food options or access to exercise classes and equipment—all essential to living healthfully with the disease.
Staffed by physicians, nurses, care coordinators, and diabetes education specialists, the Institute offers simple yet innovative approaches to combating the disease. It also provides the neighborhood a weekly farmers market selling fresh produce at discounted prices; cooking classes; exercise classes; wellness classes to help those who are at risk of the disease avoid it; and affordable medications and other medical supplies.
“Health care organizations need to expand their role in the communities they serve and this initiative is one example,” says Joel Allison, president and CEO, Baylor Health Care System. “Hospitals have not traditionally been in the business of providing cooking classes and farmers markets, but this new model of care represents the future. We are now working to improve the health of a community beyond the walls of a hospital.”
The Institute is the result of a unique public/private joint effort between Baylor and the City of Dallas. The City has helped Baylor bring diabetes treatment, education, and healthy living programs to the area by allowing the health care system to invest $15 million into renovating and transforming an already established city recreation center.
CCIM Institute, North Texas Chapter
Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM) are recognized experts in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate. A CCIM is an invaluable resource to the commercial real estate owner, investor, and user, and is among an elite corps of more than 9,000 professionals who hold the CCIM designation across North America and more than 30 countries. Recognized for its preeminence within the industry, the CCIM curriculum represents the core knowledge expected of commercial investment practitioners, regardless of the diversity of specializations within the industry.
Part of the North Texas chapter of CCIM’s mission statement is to promote the image and reputation of the Institute, designation, and the chapter’s CCIM designee members. One of the ways the chapter achieves this goal is by giving back to the community through its annual Sporting Clays Event. The 16th Annual Sporting Clays Event will be held September 30 at the Dallas Gun Club in Lewisville. Once again, the event will benefit Camp John Marc (campjohnmarc.org) in Bosque County which provides a true camp experience for children with chronic illnesses and major physical disabilities. The camp is also open to the children’s siblings as well. Camp John Marc partners with community and health professionals and organizations to provide high quality camping experiences year-round. These experiences are motivated by the belief that every camper has the right to discovery and adventure in nature’s world and deserves a chance to see, touch, play, and feel better.
Last year, the North Texas Chapter of CCIM raised $7,500 for Camp John Marc, and members hope to exceed the amount this year. Additional funds from the Sporting Clays Event go toward helping fund education scholarships for CCIM members and college students. Last year’s event drew approximately 100 shooters in addition to numerous spectators and volunteers.
Communities In Schools
Communities In Schools Dallas Region (CISDR) began in 1985 with three schools in the Dallas ISD. This year, it celebrates 25 years of serving at-risk youth on 75 campuses in 10 school districts within the Dallas Region. The CISDR 25th birthday is a milestone which inspires thoughtful reflection upon the tens of thousands of capable, but underachieving students whose futures were changed through education with CISDR’s individualized academic and support services.
In 2008-09 CISDR case managed 11,078 students. The results, verified by the Texas Education Agency are, once again, compelling and convincing. Of those 11,078 case managed students:
• 98% stayed in school;
• 92% improved their academics, attendance and/or behavior
• 91% of eligible seniors graduated
Karl Schmalz, assistant general tax counsel for Exxon Mobil Corporation has served on the CISDR board for 19 years and has been board chair for nine years. He has led the way with his personal financial contributions and been instrumental in securing the funding for the ExxonMobil Girls Exploring Math and Science (GEMS) program since 2001.
Jeff Morris, president and CEO of Alon USA, is a significant contributor to CISDR. He has served on the CISDR board of directors for the past 14 years, working as legislative liaison and CISDR endowment president. Alon USA is the year-long presenting sponsor for the CISDR 25th birthday celebration. In September 2003, Morris was instrumental in establishing the Communities In Schools Dallas Region Endowment with an initial Alon USA gift of $1 million dollars, pledged for the specific purpose of providing financial support and long-term stability to CISDR.
Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc.
Providing Help…Creating Hope, regardless of faith
Since it’s beginning in 1981, Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc. has been providing help…creating hope, regardless of faith. Catholic Charities of Dallas, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization. It is nationally accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and is a United Way Partner Agency. Catholic Charities of Dallas is a family of human services working together to strengthen families. The organization is made up of four main divisions:
Elderly and Family Services
• Financial Assistance with rent, food, utilities, school supplies, and holiday gift needs
• Food pantries
• Tax filing assistance
• Social activities, meals, and health screenings for seniors
• Discount shopping at the resale store benefitting the charity’s programs
Professional Counseling and Children’s Services
• Counseling for expectant and adoptive families
• Adoption placement – Infant and CPS
• Transportation to medical care
• Accredited child daycare
• Adult educational seminars for parents/caregivers of daycare children
• Informational and referral services
Refugee and Empowerment Services
• Resettlement services
• Financial literacy
• Case management services
• Job readiness and vocational training
• English as a Second Language, GED, and cultural orientation classes
Immigration and Legal Services
• Immigration counseling and legal services
• Citizenship classes, immigration seminars for clients and employers
• VAWA representation for abused, immigrant women, and crime victims
• Representation in the Dallas Immigration Court
World of Goods Resale Store
• Benefits all of Catholic Charities of Dallas’ programs
• Open to the public and collects generous donations of new or gently-used household items, furniture, and forgotten treasures
• Donation picks-ups are provided
• Find Catholic Charities of Dallas on Facebook
• Follow on Twitter (@CCofDallas)
• View videos on YouTube (Channel: CCofDallas)
If you are interested in helping the causes of Catholic Charities of Dallas, visit CatholicCharitiesDallas.org for more information about programs, how to get involved, numerous volunteer opportunities, or to donate online. 214.520.6590 | CatholicCharitiesDallas.org
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas
Meet Analiza. She’s 4 years old. Two years ago, she and her mom, Joyce, joined a United Way of Metropolitan Dallas early education program—a program supported by leaders in our community like you. Thanks to that help, Analiza is now well on her way to being ready
Ten years from now, in 2020, Analiza will enter ninth grade. Imagine what our region will look like then. Will her classmates be fully prepared to succeed in high school and beyond? Will North Texas offer them good job opportunities to work toward? And will they and their parents have good health and avoid the costs of chronic disease?
United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is focused on creating a better community for Analiza, Joyce, and everyone in Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, and southern Denton counties. That’s why it is mobilizing the community to achieve the United 2020 goals developed by local experts in education, income, and health—goals for the next 10 years that will make long-lasting improvements in the lives of as many people as possible:
• Education. During the next 10 years, education experts have reported that the community must prepare 50 percent more students to succeed in education after high school. This is critical to their ability to earn a good job and to the economic and social health of this region.
• Income. By 2020, 250,000 more people must be permanently moved out of poverty. With an unprecedented, coordinated effort, this community will help families achieve the stability they need to maintain good health and educate their children.
• Health. The next decade also gives the community the opportunity to make transformative improvements in community health. In particular, this region must promote expanded access, preventive care, and healthy behaviors. Let’s give people the care they need far earlier than before, or even keep them from needing a doctor in the first place.
The United Way needs your help. Reaching the United 2020 goals requires unprecedented levels of collaboration and coordination across Dallas, Collin, Rockwall, and southern Denton counties. The United Way invites you to join leaders from the community and LIVE UNITED: Give. Advocate. Volunteer.
To find the best ways to make the biggest possible improvements to the lives of people in your community, please visit UnitedWayDallas.org. 214.978.0000. UnitedWayDallas.org. facebook.com/UnitedWayDallas. twitter.com/UnitedWayDallas