A Special Message from Executive Director, Katherine Craig

What comes to mind when you think of the term “gold standard”? For me, it is when a business sets an exceptional example by fully supporting its local nonprofits in all ways.

I have spent more than 24 years in the nonprofit sector, and as an executive director of a nonprofit, I spend a lot of my time building relationships with businesses and corporate organizations. For many companies, it’s important to invest in the community. The question I get from a lot of companies wanting to support nonprofits is: How? What would have the biggest impact for you? I think my answer may be surprising. When I’m building a relationship with a company, I always want to make sure it is getting something out of our partnership as well. It’s not just about how a company can support a nonprofit; it’s about how the nonprofit can support the company as well.

By establishing a holistic approach to social impact, a company can maximize its investment and create true value for the nonprofit it supports – a win-win for both. Holistic organizations take into consideration the entire system in which they operate, meaning they look at the big picture from social, economic, and environmental factors that play an important role in their local community. It is important for businesses to be an ideal model for not only their employees, but also for the community they live in and serve.

In my experience, when a business can support a nonprofit financially and encourage its employees to take an active role in the nonprofit by volunteering through board and committee service or utilizing the nonprofits services, such as becoming a foster parent at a foster agency, that’s when the magic happens. Nonprofits feel fully supported by the company and the company’s philanthropic efforts strengthen their culture while improving their reputation, making for a great partnership.

I think one company setting the gold standard on this holistic social impact approach is Paycom. I’ve worked with Paycom for many years. When it supports a nonprofit, it is all in. It supports financially and encourages its employees to get to know the nonprofit through volunteerism, donation drives, board service and in my experience working with foster kids. Since forming a partnership in 2006, Paycom has donated more than $700,000, including corporate and employee contributions. Employees also have participated in volunteer opportunities, such as serving at Anna’s House Foundation’s annual Christmas party and aiding in their resource room, which provides foster families with necessary baby essentials such as diapers, cribs and formula. In addition, in 2022 employees donated, sorted and distributed over 600 gifts to children and families during the holidays.

Having compassionate community partners, like Paycom, helps further the mission of a nonprofit.

We need more companies to measure their philanthropic giving with a gold standard view. I encourage everyone to support their nonprofit with this holistic approach, especially now when we are seeing the need for nonprofit services increasing faster than ever.

Katherine Craig, Executive Director of The Anna’s House Foundation