As companies take a broader view of their responsibility to society, the way they show that support is evolving as well. More than 90% of middle market companies surveyed said that they supported social, community or philanthropic causes over the past two years, and most often the support is expressed financially. Whether it’s helping community organizations, educational institutions or groups supporting children’s issues, more than 70% of executives surveyed said that their company offers financial contributions to those causes.
But is money the only way for a company to show a commitment to a cause?
Doug Opheim, chief financial officer of RSM and chairman of the RSM US Foundation, believes that support for the community needs to go deeper. For us, it’s about more than writing a check. Last year, through employee contribution and Foundation matching, we donated more than $5.4 million to causes around the country, while also focusing on giving our time to our local communities.
The RSM volunteer day is a great way that our firm’s support of local communities goes beyond financial contributions. We take one day a year and give back through volunteerism in our communities, and for us, it’s another piece of the corporate social responsibility.
Last year, for example, our Minneapolis office did a makeover to an inner-city school. Hundreds of employees planted new landscaping, put on new paint and donated new books — everything to help make the school more conducive to learning. The school also received a financial match for the time the employees invested.
There’s a lot more activity than just financial support; we’re focused on supporting our employees as they take action to improve the local communities where they live and work. Ultimately, we hope that we’re setting an example for other companies as we work to foster tomorrow’s leaders through support of education and the issues of hunger, housing and health, which can stand in the way of youth achieving their full potential.