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Creating Awesome Awards Nominations: Social Responsibility

June 19, 2012

Great companies are proud of their good work in the community, and they should be. The bar is set a little higher for Arizona’s Most Admired companies. What determines high marks for Social Responsibility and how can smaller companies compete with big dogs?

One great example of a strong social responsibility program is content marketing agency McMurry. With social responsibility as one of eight company values, McMurry has helped raise more than $43 million since 1992, and has made an impact on the community that is disproportionately greater than its size of 170 employees. How have they done it?

McMurry Charities is an umbrella under which giving and volunteerism is organized. All new staff members are informed about the company’s strong commitment to the community during the interview process, and nearly 100% of the staff donate through payroll deduction. In addition, McMurry contributes a portion of its profits.

Money donated to McMurry Charities is divided between Theresa’s Fund and a multitude of nonprofits chosen by individual staff members. Theresa’s Fund, a McMurry – sponsored charity, is dedicated to supporting domestic violence causes through major matching gifts.  The grant process is designed not just to award money, but also to assist recipients in improving and growing their organizations.

A recent example is the Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse, which is now the largest domestic abuse shelter and services
 provider in Southern Arizona and the second largest in the state. After receiving a $500,000 matching gift from Theresa’s Fund, Emerge! raised $2,320,630 in new gifts. The stipulations and guidance of Theresa’s Fund has helped Emerge to succeed in great measure.

In addition to Theresa’s Fund, McMurry employees may request individual donations for nonprofits of their choice. A typical donation grant is $500, although employees frequently join forces to request larger sums for a cause many support. A variety of local and global causes are represented through the diverse interests of the staff.

There’s more to McMurry Charities than fundraising. Regularly scheduled volunteer opportunities (more than 20 events in 2011) allow staff to build camaraderie and serve their communities at the same time. Building and cleaning projects, food, toy and diaper drives, care packages for troops, fundraising runs and walks, and other activities are promoted through the McMurry internal social media site, Channel8.

All of this activity is organized through rotating committees of volunteers. Serving on the charities committee is considered an honor, and being a committee chair is a high profile leadership development opportunity.

McMurry is only one example. Best companies like Charles Schwab, Dignity Health, Goodmans Interior Structures, Medtronic, and the 2011 Arizona’s Most Admired Spotlight Winner ScriptSave also provide great lessons on how to effectively give back to the community. These organizations organize their efforts, they aren’t scattershot. They leverage their efforts for greater impact. They involve everyone. They mix volunteerism with fundraising.  Social responsibility is a part of their company’s fabric, not an add-on.

If you can tell a story like this, maybe your company will be included as one of Arizona’s Most Admired.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2012 10:21 pm

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  2. Peggy permalink
    December 27, 2012 9:41 pm

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