From a corporate sponsorship perspective, companies often focus more on what a charitable contribution will cost rather than what they will gain by supporting a worthy cause. But the benefits of supporting a nonprofit organization transcend such a binary calculus. By donating to charity, businesses are infused with a purpose and meaning greater than the bottom line. I’d like to share a story of what one company gained when they made a commitment to giving.
Wheaton World Wide Moving was called to give with the help of a little boy named Keaton. Keaton was a wish child at The Village in 2002, and after his visit he became passionate about sharing how Give Kids The World changed his life. Wheaton was already partnering with the Village at that time and asked if a wish child might be able to speak at their upcoming conference.
Keaton was the perfect fit, a natural on stage. In his speech he urged the audience to get involved and do something for the cause that meant so much to him and his family. The folks at Wheaton were moved, and his message resonated long after the conference. Sadly, just a couple of months after speaking to the Wheaton group, Keaton lost his battle with cancer, and passed away.
Upon receiving the heartbreaking news, leaders at Wheaton World Wide Moving made the bold commitment to permanently sponsor the Village. They honored their brave speaker’s memory by underwriting “Keaton’s Korral,” a trail ride where wish children—even those who use wheelchairs—can ride a horse or pony.
Although there was a prior relationship with the Village, this new connection had a profound effect on Wheaton’s company culture. Soon after committing to Give Kids The World, they changed their motto to “We move your life.” Their message to their customers was that they did more than just move things from location to location, they helped individuals and families move forward.
Wheaton’s extraordinary commitment to our cause proved noteworthy. They began getting media coverage from newspapers and magazines about the company’s charitable partnership. The good the company does sets them apart from others in their industry. Their contributions showed consumers that they are a company that thinks beyond mere profits.
And their success doesn’t stop at great publicity. Keaton’s message became a lasting part of Wheaton’s internal culture as well. Wheaton employees constantly spread the word about the good Give Kids The World is doing, and their truck drivers even visit the Village when they find themselves in Central Florida. This philanthropic involvement solidifies their employees’ commitment to the company and has reduced Wheaton’s overall turnover rates.
Amid this current crisis, it can be hard to see past the next couple of weeks, much less to an extended future. And while the most important task at hand is for the country to overcome the emergency, there’s also time to consider what your company will champion when this storm passes. If your company isn’t already aligned with a charitable cause – or if it is, but you would like to do more – reach out to Give Kids The World, or any other worthy organization, and use this time to chart a course toward an increased purpose and sense of mission for you and your employees.