Lexmark

Through its Community Relations Program, Lexmark strives to be a good corporate citizen within the communities where its employees work and play. As a global company, Lexmark’s goal is to have a highly diverse and inclusive workplace. Volunteerism is at the heart of Lexmark, too. Lexmark encourages employees to give their time, talent and resources to neighbors where they live and work worldwide.

Here's how Lexmark and its employees are making a difference in the lives of others through the power of Lexmark's three community priorities--STEM education, diversity, and volunteerism. 

With a commitment to STEM education, Lexmark teaches student groups programming, tutors underprivileged children in Science and Math, and rewards local STEM teachers. Through these opportunities, students are introduced to potential careers and Lexmark creates a pipeline for future employees. Visiting students are not just taught programming. They learn the importance of sustainability when they tour the new LEED certified Lenexa campus, built utilizing the latest in energy efficient and recycled materials.

Largely through Diversity Network Groups (DNGs), Lexmark is proactive in making its work environment one that allows each employee the opportunity to bring his or her complete self to work. Lexmark’s DNGs are employee groups created to foster a more inclusive environment through networking, employee and community engagement, recruiting efforts and diversity awareness. DNGs are established through a grassroots process whereby employees develop programming and events to help advance the mission. Each DNG offers a space where employees can benefit from a supportive network as well as celebrate and share their cultures and individuality with others.

Finally, programs at Lexmark, such as Volunteer Time Off, Volunteer of the Year Award and flexible work policies empower employees to give back to their communities and make a difference. In June 2015, the Enterprise Software Release Management team spent a work day painting a home and staining a deck for a Kansas City, Kansas family in need through A Brush With Kindness. A Brush With Kindness helps preserve and revitalize existing homes by offering painting, landscaping, and minor repair services to eligible homeowners so they can continue to live in safe and refreshed homes.

Bank of Kansas City

Making a community stronger begins with clearly understanding its needs. In banking, that requires a team of dedicated employees. "Everybody has had to make an emotional, mental commitment to join this organization," said Michael Viazzoli, Bank of Kansas City's CEO, describing the company's organic growth and positive culture. Bank of Kansas City actively encourages and supports employees serving on boards of directors of community nonprofits. 

McCormick Distilling Co.

“Sometimes all it takes to help the environment is re-thinking your usual habits," said McCormick Distilling Co.'s President, Mick Harris. "For us, going green is something we do every day.”

"Recycling" is bigger than a bin next to every desk. Recycling means respecting a sustainable and regenerative environment. In the workplace, it means turning off lights, recycling aluminum cans and making an effort to use only recyclable supplies around the office. Some companies have even replaced the plastic silverware in the break room with stainless steel utensils. 

Acendas

"It's how we do business that sets us apart," says Brent Blake, President of Acendas, a Kansas City-based corporate and vacation travel company that is leading the industry in managing the risk of today's travel, offering clients an array of services to reflect the travel industry's growing demands. "Our strategic recommendations combine thought leadership with cost reduction technologies, intelligent data analysis and traveler health and safety policies to endre a strong, well-managed travel program."

 

"Caring" means acting on a commitment to your own physical and mental health and wellness. The reason caring is important is because human beings are much better equipped to help others when they are also taking care of themselves.

BalancePoint Corporation

A founding principle in BalancePoint's management philosophy is Give Back. "We are blessed and compelled to serve our community," Michael says, "as well as the wider needs of children around the world." Indeed, a visit to BalancePoint's corporate headquarters confirms a culture of doing good and personal achievement for every team member. The company's values are painted artistically on the walls. BalancePoint even created the Giving Wall, a hallway devoted to celebrating the dozens of charitable organizations supported by the company and its employees--many of which are BalancePoint's clients' favorite causes. 

 

"Volunteering" means a hands-on contribution of your time to an organized cause or a formal initiative that helps others. Examples of employee volunteering include serving meals in a soup kitchen, sorting clothes in a homeless shelter, helping out at a school, or picking up trash on the side of the road as part of a "Keep America Clean" project.

Jay Mulligan, Certified Financial Planner

Jay Mulligan is a Certified Financial Planner™ in Overland Park, Kansas, who makes it very clear--in his words and actions--that he truly cares about his clients. Keeping in touch and being involved with clients goes beyond the typical 9 to 5 interaction. Each year, Jay home-cooks and grills a large order of barbecue delights for his clients and their families during the annual "Jazz in the Woods" festival to support local charities.

 

"Attending" is all about supporting favorite causes by showing up in person. Employees frequently represent their companies by attending events--5Ks, galas, auctions and golf tournaments. Sometimes, though, the best celebrations are the informal gatherings, like the impromptu parties in the company break room to honor a colleague's a birthday or favorite charity.

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

"Spencer Fane's core values are anchored in the firm's pride in its ability to work in partnership with clients to identify achievable goals," said Greg Ash, a partner in the firm's Overland Park office. Consistent with the firm's core values, the innovation and arts theme for its corporate giving enables Spencer Fane to balance support of the arts community's mature organizations with support of incubator organizations. By intentionally focusing on arts and innovation, the firm channels charitable support into local markets in a manner that is both meaningful and strategic.

 

"Giving", inspired in the image below, can mean a lot of things. In philanthropy, "giving" refers specifically to contributing money to a charitable organization qualified under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). The organization, in turn, uses the money to support people in need, pay for educational and research activities, engage in the arts, or pursue other charitable endeavors. Acts of giving include not only writing checks, but also transferring stock, making grants from a corporate foundation, or even dropping coins in a fountain to support a children's hospital.  

Core Catalysts

“We ask our clients what philanthropic activities they support,” says Core Catalysts' Managing Member, Jim Wadella. “Then we seek to understand how our firm and our team can support those causes, too.” Sometimes that means the firm’s employees participate in a food drive, or volunteer time. Other times the firm writes a check or helps with a fundraiser to support a client’s favorite cause. “Our clients are more than just people who pay our invoices,” says Jim. “They have vested interests beyond the work environment.”

 

"Marketing" is one of the 10 Ways to Do Good. In corporate philanthropy, "marketing" means anything you do to tell your workplace colleagues about a favorite cause, whether that's recruiting people to fill a table at a gala or helping your children sell Girl Scout cookies by passing the order form around the office. The idea is that you are promoting a cause to encourage other people to support it, too. It can even be as simple as snapping a photo.

Job One

"We have three facilities that provide packaging and light assembly services, a recycling center, secure document shredding service, and federal jobs through the AbilityOne program," says JobOne's CEO, Aaron Martin. "In the last year we've also added JobOne Careers, a customized employment program to match the needs of the business community with the unique talents of our workers. Our program variation is vast, yet we are still working to become more diverse to ensure our employment options are plentiful."

 

"Purchasing" means buying products and services that include a charitable element. For example, do you typically buy the brand of pasta that supports food pantries across America? Do you feel good when you know that a person across the world got a new pair of shoes, too, when you bought yours? Purchasing is a terrific application of doing good in corporate settings. For example, many businesses purchase services from organizations that employ adults with developmental disabilities. And that is a gift--both to adults with developmental disabilities, and future adults with developmental disabilities like the little girl pictured here.

Financial Executives International

"As the top networking and professional development group for financial executives in Kansas City, FEI is committed to developing the next generation of finance and accounting leaders," said Stacey Frye, Past President of the FEI Kansas City chapter. "Education is central to our mission, and FEI Kansas City's annual academic awards promote excellence in the business programs at 15 universities in our region. We are happy to honor promising young people." 

 

"Serving" is one of the 10 Ways to Do Good. "Serving" includes being a member of a board of directors, committee, or a similar group with responsibility for ensuring that a community or civic purpose is carried out successfully. Many companies encourage employees to serve on boards of directors of local nonprofit organizations. More and more companies are also beginning to acknowledge the contributions employees are making in their personal lives through service, such as serving on the board of a neighborhood association, joining a steering committee for a school fundraiser, or being part of a civic task force.