From pies to paid volunteer time, design-build firms get creative with charitable giving.

Offering opportunities for employees to engage with nonprofit community organizations can have benefits beyond the bottom line – nurturing relationships among co-workers and allowing companies to better engage and retain their workforce.

Many firms focus on fundraising or matching programs.

Wisconsin-based ESI Group USA matches funds and raises money for Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization that provides educational scholarships to the spouses and children of military members who have fallen or been disabled while serving.

ESI Group USA solicits donations from employees, trade partners and suppliers and raised more than $15,000 last year alone. Since its inception in 2007, Folds of Honor has awarded over 35,000 scholarships totaling more than $160 million.

Other firms focus on hands-on experiences.

Primus focuses on local efforts to make a difference in the lives of their neighbors. The company’s biggest charity effort each year focuses on Make-a-Wish Georgia. Fundraising events are led by the company’s Primus Employee Relations Committee (PERC). PERC organizes events throughout the year to raise funds, like raffles, Super Bowl squares and a chance to throw pies in the faces of executives at their company meeting.

“It’s always been important to me to lend a helping hand. It’s how I was raised. I wanted my company to be the same,” said Primus CEO Rich O’Connell. “My partners agree, and our PERC team takes the ball and runs with it. We’ve had several successful charity campaigns, and I’m proud of the team.”

This year, the team raised enough money to support wishes for two local critically ill children. In addition to Make-a-Wish, PERC also conducts a Thanksgiving food drive for a community food pantry and collects Christmas gifts for foster children in our county.

Tippmann Group employees
Tippmann Group employees have donated over 100 hours of volunteer labor to help build homes. Image courtesy Tippmann Group.

Over the last two years, Tippmann Group, alongside the Mary Cross Tippmann Foundation, has donated over $80,000 and 100 hours of labor to help build homes for Vincent Village, a Habitat for Humanity project in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“Tippmann Group has been in business for more than 50 years, and the philanthropic efforts of my grandfather, Founder John Tippmann, Sr. have been carried out over the years through three generations of this family-owned business. His vision of a successful company has always included giving back to the community, and he has developed a culture within the company that includes providing an opportunity for employees to donate their time, efforts, and money if desired,” said Vice President of Sales Strategy John Tippmann III.

Some firms designate paid time off specifically for volunteer work.

At ARCO National Construction, employees are encouraged to get involved with the charity of their choice, with the company offering five days of paid leave each year to perform volunteer work and through a dollar-for-dollar matching gift program.

ARCO co-founders Dick Arnoldy and Jeff Cook implemented the volunteer leave benefit to encourage and empower associates to take time off to complete service projects, as well as committed a percentage of profits to charity each year. These efforts set the foundation for ARCO’s continued dedication to giving back over the past three decades.

“Our business is a guest in the local community. Giving back is core to our values and the best way to be a gracious guest,” said ARCO National Construction Chairman Craig Bridell.

ARCO supports local charities
Associates from ARCO’s New England office cheer on colleague Brandon Graska at the Boston Marathon in support of The Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. Image courtesy ARCO National Construction.

Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, ARCO supports local charities including the St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Mission St. Louis through regular fundraising efforts and donation drives. The company also supports national charities, including the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Autism Speaks and the Alzheimer’s Association.

This year, in honor of their 30th anniversary, ARCO held an enterprise-wide giving campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, with ARCO matching associates’ gifts up to three times.

Over the history of A M King, the company has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars and thousands of employee volunteer hours for company-sponsored charitable activities. With locations in South Carolina, North Carolina and Illinois, A M King also encourages employees to pursue volunteer activities on their own, giving every employee 16 hours of paid leave for their personal community service volunteer efforts.

The company’s Community Engagement Committee helps plan service projects, with 2021 initiatives including the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Carolina PAWS (benefiting rescue dogs) and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas.

AM King Community Engagement Committee
A M King employees before the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte’s 2022 Sport a Shirt, Share a Night fundraiser. Image courtesy A M King.

“Supporting children and families in need, and promoting education, has always been the focus of A M King’s community efforts. We understand that building strong communities also builds strong character and supports the well-being of all of those involved. There is no greater feeling than knowing our participation contributed to making the lives of others better,” said Director of Corporate Administration Donna Morris.