Our New Approach to Community Giving
Community Impact. It’s one of the three ways in which we measure success. As a firm that comes from community roots that were planted more than 70 years ago, we know how important it is to create impact where we live and work.
Ultimately, we believe that impact happens on many levels, from our relationships as advisors to businesses and nonprofits, our roles as board members in local organizations and our philanthropic giving.
While we felt comfortable with our mission around being advisors and community leaders, we desired a better way to approach our community giving – one that encouraged the participation of our team members and deepened the impact to local organizations. We share our story in hopes to help inspire other organizations to learn from our challenges and successes.
We Assembled a Community Impact Team
We knew we needed a small group focused on developing a community impact strategy and the communication that followed it. So, we assembled a three-person internal team of individuals who expressed interest in community impact and had unique perspectives that would help contribute toward the success of this initiative. Meet our LG Community Impact Team:
We Opened a Donor Advised Fund with Whatcom Community Foundation
Our firm has recognized and appreciated the mission of Whatcom Community Foundation (WCF) for several years. They are excellent at connecting people, ideas and resources to the needs of our community and we knew we needed their partnership to be successful.
Whatcom Community Foundation is home to more than 150 separate funds – each with a unique purpose and created by an individual, family, nonprofit or corporation. We decided a Donor Advised Fund through WCF was the perfect vehicle to emphasize our commitment to community giving. The Larson Gross Impact Fund is a vehicle where we can thoughtfully set aside investments to be contributed toward the community while WCF manages the administrative duties of the fund and serves as our trusted advisor in executing the philanthropic decisions we make.
“Partnering with Larson Gross to launch this Impact Fund has been a terrific example of the power of collaboration. Working with your team to help support our community with meaningful philanthropic investments - while also building connections between LG and the important work happening in Whatcom County - has been a true pleasure,” says Rachel Myers, Philanthropic Services & Programs Director at Whatcom Community Foundation.
We Tried a New Approach to Community Giving
After many months of discussion and feedback from others, the Community Impact team identified the following objectives for a new approach to community giving:
- Find a way to engage LG team members, giving them a voice into what the firm contributes to and a chance to personally contribute.
- Deepen our impact in the community with more significant monetary values.
- Communicate transparently to our team members about the firm’s giving.
- Each quarter, a specific group of team members come together by role (e.g., Seniors, Managers, Operations, Administrative, etc.) to learn more about community needs, impact and organizations.
- In addition to creating a connection point between our team members, the groups select one nonprofit organization that the firm will make a sizeable contribution to. While we look to WCF for resources and information, it’s entirely up to our team members to make the final selection. We have given them full authority!
- In addition to the firm’s contribution, LG matches employee contributions. We like to think of this as a group campaign to make the most impact possible. It opens the opportunity for our team members to connect with the community and our firm.
Our 2021 First Quarter Giving – Northwest Youth Services
With our new approach detailed out, we were excited to bring together our Associates and Interns to select our first quarter nonprofit organization.
After identifying COVID-19 and more specifically, housing challenges, as an impact area they wanted to focus on, we leaned on the WCF to help connect us with potential needs.
We are proud to announce that our team members selected Northwest Youth Services as our first quarter giving recipient! Together with our firm and employee contributions, we are honored to support a local organization with an incredible mission to collaborate with at-risk, runaway and homeless youth to foster self-reliance. For more information about Northwest Youth Services, we encourage you to visit their webpage.
Stay tuned to learn who we’ll partner with in Quarter Two!
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