The joy of giving
Several years ago, we formed Plante Moran Cares as a way to encourage staff to rally around a particular cause and donate time, treasure, and talent to those in need. This year, we approached things a little differently; we asked each office to select the charity it would support. Staff nominated the causes that were important to them, and those that received the most votes prevailed. This means that, for the first time since Plante Moran Cares began, we’re proud to support 17 deserving charities within our geographic footprint.
We’re about halfway through our 2014–2015 year, and I’m excited to report that staff have really amped up the creativity this year. For example:
- To support Gift of Adoption Fund, our Downtown Chicago office is having something they call “Penny Wars” during tax season. The office is divided into four quadrants, and the partner associated with the quadrant that loses the war will be “pied” in the face during its end-of-tax-season celebration. How does it work? You drop money into the bucket of the quadrant you’d like to see lose. The more money a quadrant raises, the more likely that partner will have a face full of pie come April 15.
- To support the Make-a-Wish Foundation (MAW), our Cincinnati office has organized a building-wide chili cookoff. (This includes other companies in addition to Plante Moran.) During the cookoff, the office plans to show a video of a MAW child’s story whose wish was to feed the hungry. In doing so, she used a specific chili recipe that the office will feature in memory of her. The office’s 50 staff also wrote letters to Santa in December, which Macy’s then mailed to the North Pole. Macy’s donated $1 per letter to MAW.
- Our 70-person Detroit office has set a goal to raise $10,000 for its charity, Alternatives for Girls (AFG). The office has coordinated a number of activities to meet this lofty goal: clothing drives, donations for the privilege of wearing jeans on Fridays (this alone has raised nearly $2,500—staff love wearing jeans), 50/50 raffles, and a “giving tree” during the holidays. The office asked AFG which groups of girls were least likely to receive gifts; whereas children often receive gifts from the general public, older girls and young women tend to be less represented. Staff put together care packages for these girls composed of a duffle bag, towel set, and a lady’s watch. The team is nearly 75 percent of the way toward meeting its goal, and I’ve heard rumors that something ominous may await Detroit office partners—possibilities include shaved heads and a dunk tank—once that goal is met.
I love hearing these stories that demonstrate how our endlessly creative staff are supporting the causes important to them. It’s amazing how doing something positive for others can awaken within you a desire to do more. Giving really becomes a joy, and seeing the effects of your efforts only makes you want to up the ante. It’s heartening to see our staff inspire each other and their communities with their ideas and generosity.
How about you? How do you give back to the community? Any particularly creative fundraising ideas you’d like to share?