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4 Companies That Actually Understand Philanthropy

Whether you call it volunteering, philanthropy, or corporate social responsibility, we can all agree on the common theme: more companies are committing their resources to giving back.

At LaSalle, we know philanthropy is one of the best ways to engage with the community and build connections between employees. We’re pretty proud of our own philanthropic efforts, but this week we wanted to highlight 4 companies who we believe are giving back in all the right ways:

 

Radioflyer


radioflyer logoHeadquarters: Chicago, IL
# of Employees: 58
Industry:
Children’s toys

Every year, employees from Radioflyer build a playground. Through a partnership with KaBOOM!, a Chicago non-profit, Radioflyer has built five playgrounds over the past five years in under-served neighborhoods.

This event is just one highlight of this wagon manufacturer’s community involvement. Every U.S. employee gets two days of paid time off to volunteer: in 2014, 71% of employees used their hours, totaling 950 hours of community service.

Beyond donating their time, Radioflyer also donates their iconic wagons to kids in need. Since 2005, they have donated more than 38,000 red wagons!

Their philanthropic success matches their business success: Radioflyer has been on Inc.’s list of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America four times in the last decade, and in 2015 they were named one of Fortune’s Top 50 Best Small Workplaces.

 

New Belgium Brewing


new belgiumHeadquarters: Fort Collins, CO
# of Employees: 591
Industry: Craft brewing

New Belgium’s founder Kim Jordan had worked in social work before starting New Belgium Brewing, so social consciousness was part of her business plan from day one. In 1995, the brewery began donating $1 for every barrel of beer they sold.

Today, that initiative has grown into a grant program run by employees. These employees review and research grant proposals and allocate the company’s funds accordingly. These grants sponsor initiatives in the following categories: transportation, sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and watershed development.

To date, New Belgium has donated more than $7 million, employees have donated more than 2,700 hours of community service, and in 2015 this Local Grants Program sponsored programs in 40 states.

 

Tasty Catering


Tasty Catering LogoHeadquarters: Chicago, IL
# of Employees: 90
Industry: Food

Tasty Catering is a Chicago-based catering company that has made a name for itself because of its culture and community involvement.

Tasty Catering focuses its philanthropic efforts on what they know best: food. Through their child company, That’s Caring, they provide “weekend bags” of food for children who rely on school lunch programs for their meals during the week. In 2015, they donated 120 bags to families in need.

Employees from Tasty Catering also volunteer to pack meals at a local non-profit, Feed My Starving Children; they regularly collect non-perishables for food banks, and they host student field-trips at their headquarters so children can learn about the industry.

As though these initiatives wouldn’t keep them busy enough, the company has also hosted a pancake fundraiser for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, they collect toys for Toys for Tots, and employees participate in races like Relay for Life and the Foodie 5K.

Their community involvement has paid off: employee turnover is below 2%, and the company has been named one of Forbes’ Best Small Companies in America for 2016.

 

Solstice Mobile


solsticeHeadquarters: Chicago, IL
# of Employees: 230
Industry: IT

Since the company was founded 15 years ago, community involvement has been a cornerstone of Solstice Mobile’s culture. They don’t just volunteer; they truly engage. The company’s work focuses on digital product design and the Internet of Things, and their philanthropic efforts mirror their love of all things digital.

Solstice is an active sponsor of a local non-profit i.c. stars that helps inner-city youths join the tech sector, and their Founder & CEO J Schwan has mentored students from the program.

Last year, Solstice partnered with “Internet of Elephants” to host a hackathon where more than 60 people came together to design new solutions and technology for wildlife conservation. 36 hours produced a range of innovative ideas about how technology can help educate people about wildlife and conservation.

Finally, Solstice Mobile has regularly dominated Lurie Children’s Hospital’s Chicago Dance Marathon. This year, they brought more than 100 dancers and raised more than $100,000 for the hospital.

 

 

 

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