The Blue Blazer Gains New Significance
– Plante & Moran, PLLC’s yearlong grassroots community service project to support domestic violence shelters throughout the firm’s footprint brought out the creative - and competitive - side of its staff, as individual office initiatives and firm-wide efforts resulted in raising over $57,000 for the cause and an additional donation of an estimated 500 staff hours. According to Managing Partner Gordon Krater, CPA, the charitable outreach adds new depth to the firm’s acclaimed culture.
“Since 2008, we have used our Plante & Moran Cares initiative as a formal way to coordinate firm-sponsored volunteerism,” explains Krater. “This year’s results reflect that a greater understanding of the need for personal involvement and commitment to charitable concerns such as domestic violence shelters, as well as a deeper level of community entrenchment through volunteerism, are taking root throughout the firm.”
Each year, Plante & Moran Cares selects a worthy cause that will be supported by staff in its 18 offices throughout Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio. P&M Cares Office Champions oversee the charitable efforts of individual offices, coordinating logistics with the charities, planning fundraising events, arranging for volunteers and donations and communicating with staff. In addition to generating cash and in-kind contributions, Plante & Moran Cares spawns friendly competition among offices, sparked by a grand prize for the firm’s top fundraising office. This year’s fundraising bag of tricks included:
- The Ann Arbor office’s win of a Facebook competition getting people to vote for the office’s sponsored shelter, Ann Arbor-based SafeHouse. That social media outreach netted SafeHouse an additional $1,300 check.
- The Grand Rapids office took silent auctions to a new level and hosted a fundraising extravaganza that was supported by vendors, clients, local businesses, staff, family and friends, raising nearly $7,000 in one day for Safe Haven Ministries.
- The East Lansing office took the grand prize with its clever introduction of the Blue Blazer. Inspired by the renown Master’s of Golf green blazer, the office held a ten day event titled “The Quest for the Blue Jacket”. Greg Walthorn, a member of Plante Moran Financial Advisor’s team, won the honor of donning the now coveted Blue Blazer. As Grand Prize winner, the office’s shelter of choice, East Lansing-based End Violent Encounters (EVE), was awarded an extra $5,000 from the firm.
- In Chicago, staff donated funds for one unlucky partner to wear a ballerina costume for a day, all for the benefit of Connections for Abused Women & their Children. Other donations throughout the firm came from office game nights, putt-putt golf tournaments, trivia contests, themed collection drives and cook-offs.
“The level of creativity and camaraderie generated as a result of Plante & Moran Cares has been an unexpected bonus,” observes Krater. “It’s an affirmation of the multiple benefits of incorporating community service into a corporate vision.”
What’s next on the P&M Cares agenda? The firm announced at its June 30th annual conference that the P&M Cares initiative for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011 is the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
About Plante & Moran, PLLC
Plante & Moran is among the nation’s largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms, providing clients with tax, audit, risk management, financial, technology, business consulting, and wealth management services. Plante & Moran has a staff of more than 1,600 professionals in 21 offices throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Illinois with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. Plante & Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country’s best places to work.