The Power of Philanthropy
By Dan R. Lawrence, National Marketing Manager, BluSky Restoration Contractors, LLC
Hotel tycoon Conrad Hilton, who grew one 40-room hotel he purchased in 1919 in Cisco, TX into the 3600 worldwide Hilton Hotel empire once wrote, “Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.” Thus, is the power of philanthropy.
Giving It All Away
So, what is it about giving generously that makes individuals and companies happy, stronger and more fulfilled? For one answer, let us first look to the true ‘whales’ of philanthropy today, Bill and Melinda Gates, who through their Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are working to give virtually all their incredible wealth away in their lifetimes.
As the Gates’ personal wealth is said to be north of $90 billion, this will require a herculean effort, but they are well on their way. In 2017, their foundation gave away $4.6 billion to fund programs that end child mortality, distribute vaccinations and improve access to education in developing countries. Their foundation also funded $500 million in similar programs in the U.S.
A Full-time Job That’s Fun
In her article published Feb. 23, 2018 for CNBC, Catherine Clifford, writes:
For the Gates’, the endeavor is also a pleasure. “We have fun doing it. Both of us love digging into the science behind our work,” writes Bill. Whether helping to eradicate polio or breed high-yield “super cows,” often, deciding where to allocate money requires they study biology, chemistry or agronomy, he says in the letter. “I’ll spend hours talking to a crop researcher or an HIV expert, and then I’ll go home, dying to tell Melinda what I’ve learned.
“It’s rare to have a job where you get to have both a big impact and a lot of fun. I had it with Microsoft, and I have it with the foundation,” writes Bill. “I can’t imagine a better way to spend the bulk of my time.”
At BluSky, we like to say we are Making Our Communities Better™ through our intentional commitment to philanthropic and community service. Although we encourage our branch offices nationwide to support local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations of their choosing, corporately we have chosen to support Boys & Girls Clubs in key markets. This non-profit is a good fit for us because we believe so strongly that when underprivileged youth get a solid start in life through the myriad of programs offered by Boys & Girls Clubs, these youngsters grow up to be happy vibrant contributors to society. Some may even join the BluSky team one day! Over its tenure, BluSky has given away more than $650,000 nationwide to its nonprofit partners.
Recently, BluSky asked our customers to share their own views on corporate philanthropy. We received an overwhelming response, which we are happy to report shows corporate philanthropy is alive and thriving within our customer’s organizations, and this is terrific for the communities where our customers live and work nationwide! We won’t have space here to share them all in this post, so we will break these customer responses up to include in our ongoing series on The Power of Philanthropy.
- As a company, which non-profit(s) does your firm support and why?
We make an effort to support organizations that are meaningful to our employees and our business projects. By supporting the causes that are directly connected to our employees’ interests and activities, we are able to impact not only the cause at hand, but the lives of the people who spend every day working for our company. It is one of the many ways we are able to show our gratitude to our staff. Additionally, by supporting organizations that are active in the areas we choose to do business, we hope that we are able to convey how much we believe in and care about the work that we do. We strive to positively impact communities, not only through our physical work, but through our charitable and volunteering efforts and as well.
- Why do you feel it is important for a company and its employees to give back to the communities where they live and work?
As a real estate developer and owner, the community is an integral part of our projects’ success. Our real estate projects receive public support, municipal participation, and customer patronage; we become part of the neighborhood. The ability to give back through gifts of time and treasure is how we show our support to the communities that we serve.
- Would you share a brief moving story where your firm’s philanthropic activity truly made a difference in a group or individuals life?
One of our most active projects is 39Rainbow, a mixed-use development located in Kansas City, Kansas across from the University of Kansas Hospital. The property manager for 39Rainbow makes the drive from our office to the project countless times per week and on this drive, passes Frank Rushton Elementary School. After passing the school over and over, she began donating coats and clothing on her own, and then presented the situation to the rest of the LANE4 team. LANE4 and its employees worked with the school nurse to identify a handful of students and their families who could use a helping hand, and teamed up to purchase clothing, coats, toys, games and other items; secretly delivering the packages in time to send home with the families before their holiday break. The gratitude and appreciation shown by the families truly touched and humbled our employees beyond expectations, and we have continued this tradition each year ever since.
From enormous gifts to smaller ones, this my dear friends, is the power of philanthropy.
Until next time.