Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 18

n Philanthropy I According to a Forbes article, a 2013 study by private n early 2016, Jeff Rogers, CEO of Big Green IT, and his dozen or so employees all took a field trip from their consulting firm Reputation Institute found that consumers office in Rocklin to Roseville Community School to are driven to recommend, work at or buy from a particular gift 12 new laptops to the school’s computer lab. In company based on the company’s reputation a whopping September 2016 and again in August 2017, he and his team 60 percent of the time. The other 40 percent depends on also donated time for network setup and installation of wi- what the company actually does. So, a customer’s percep- fi for Harvest Ridge Placer Academy in Rocklin. Both dona- tion of your business can be even more important than the tions played to the strengths of his small company, Rogers day-to-day reality of your business operations. The idea of corporate social responsibility has been says, since the charitable acts allowed him to donate time around for hundreds of years. American business mag- and resources instead of a lump financial gift. “Their old computers were five, six, seven years old,” nates of the 18th and 19th century often turned their he says of the equipment at Roseville Community School. eyes toward philanthropy in their sunset years, setting “They couldn’t even do what they needed them to do. One a precedent for modern moguls. Oftentimes, the most fiscally-successful compa- teacher, I think she cried nies of today are those that twice. They couldn’t have have embraced a culture of afforded to do that for the giving back to the communi- kids.” ty that helped them grow, en- Rogers says his com- couraging their employees pany, which provides cor- to do the same. But the first porate IT services, proves hurdle is deciding what form even small businesses can of philanthropy to support. make a significant impact. “We’re a small team taking on big projects,” he says. CHOOSING A CAUSE — Kristi Cappelletti-Matthews, “Great companies iden- Locally-based VSP Global’s tify something larger than philanthropic platform is chief human resources officer, VSP Global transactions to provide called “Eyes of Hope.” To- purpose and meaning,” gether with in-network doc- Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a Harvard business professor, wrote tors, VSP Global Eyes of Hope initiatives help communities in a 2011 Harvard Business Review article. “Great compa- around the world by supporting programs that provide ac- nies work to make money, of course, but in their choices cess to eye care, eyewear, education and disaster relief in of how to do so, they think about building enduring insti- places in need, says VSP Global’s Chief Human Resources tutions. They invest in the future while being aware of the Officer, Kristi Cappelletti-Matthews. need to build people and society.” Another local corporation, Raley’s Family of Fine Stores, directs funding to one of four platforms through their Purposeful Giving program, says Chelsea Minor, di- WHY BUSINESSES SHOULD GIVE BACK When search engine giant Google began doing business i n rector of public relations and public affairs for the family the early 2000s, founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page gave business. Minor says Raley’s has narrowed its focus to give back to organizations in the Sacramento region that pro- their employees a now-famous directive: “Don’t Be Evil.” The simple motto proved to be pervasive in the cul- mote health and happiness — values that align with those ture of the f ledgling company, and is still embedded in of the company. Raley’s donates to organizations that work its employee code of conduct today. Though what “evil” within one of four priority areas: food, healthy living, sus- implies is intentionally left open to individual interpre- tainability and community issues. The four Purposeful Giving platforms include Simply tation, the basic message is clear: Don’t prioritize gains Sustainable, which focuses on issues that will impact fu- over empathy. “We’ve found the most success when we focus on initiatives that are an extension of our mission.” 18 CAPITAL REGION CARES 2017 | comstocksmag.com