Philanthropy is good for you

editorsnotebookAnya Reid, executive director of development for NC State University’s Poole College of Management, is an expert in the world of corporate and individual giving.

She recently announced a $1 million gift from Chip Andrews, the retired former chairman and CEO of Raleigh-based FMI Corp., and current managing member of Andrews Ventures LLC, which manages real estate and venture capital investments.

The $1 million commitment will create the NC State Acceleration Fund, which will award grants to student startup companies.

There’s a logical relationship between business and philanthropy.

Companies successfully brand themselves by giving back to their communities. Banks that sponsor events at colleges and universities can develop a talent pipeline, or establish a lifelong relationship.

Banks with a significant campus presence one day might write a college loan or mortgage loan.

There’s also the notion that a rising tide floats all boats; i.e. giving back to the community means there will be a broader base of consumers and end-users.

Reid, a Davidson College graduate, said the concept of a triple bottom line—people, product and community—is gaining traction in corporate America. “It’s smart business if you support the community. The community is your customer. …It’s building your brand,” Reid said.

Big Day at the Lake

It rings true with both Presenting Sponsors for Year 12 of Big Day at the Lake: Champion Tire & Wheel, the racing industry service and logistics company in Cornelius, and PayPal, the online payments company, based in San Jose.

Big Day at the Lake supports Big Brothers of Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte by providing a day of fun on the lake for at-risk kids, recruiting mentors and raising money for an efficient non-profit.

Kevin Mahl, one of the owners of Champion Tire, says he is impressed by the effectiveness of Big Brothers Big Sisters over the long-term. “They have a track record and we believe the old adage — that children are our future — is very true,” Mahl said.

John McCabe, senior vice president of global operations at PayPal, said the company’s mission is making it easy for consumers and merchants reach their financial dreams.

“Strong family values and strong community values are the fundamental foundation of an individual’s success. Big Day at the Lake and Big Brothers Big Sisters creates that foundation and the local PayPal team is proud and honored to help in any which way we can. Together we can enable the success of people dreams and aspirations in a way that is fun and inspiring,” McCabe said.

Giving back to the community on a corporate level or an individual basis has benefits intangible and tangible, short-term and long-term.

Mahl, who runs Champion Tire with business partner Jamie Rolewiscz, says they have always subscribed to the idea that every kid deserves a chance.

“Big Brothers Big Sisters with the help of Big Day at the Lake lays a foundation for kids to gain a brand new perspective on the world. Who knows where that might take them. After hearing some of the stories, it seems like Big Day at the Lake provides a lot of perspective to more than just the kids as well,” Mahl said.

Regardless of how you choose to give back, philanthropy is good for you.


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