One of the most rewarding aspects of my role is leading Schneider's Charitable Giving Foundation, which was formally established in 1982 to provide support for nonprofit organizations and offer associates simple ways to give back. I’m proud to work for a company that is so committed to charitable giving and one that is a positive force for change in the communities in which our associates live and work. Our long history of generosity exemplifies the Schneider Way.
While our efforts may vary a bit from year to year depending on needs and profitability, last year the Schneider Foundation was able to make significant strides in seven general categories:
- Pay it Forward allows associates to decide where some of our charitable dollars are put to use. The Foundation randomly selects 100 associates who in turn select a favorite charity of their choice to be the recipient of a $100 donation. Last year, selected associates chose organizations like the American Diabetes Association, Golden House and Make-A-Wish®.
- Dollars for Doers is one of the ways to give back that allows associates who are already doing amazing volunteer work to earn a $250 donation for their cause. If an associate demonstrates that he or she volunteers 50 hours or more per year at an eligible charitable organization, the Schneider Foundation will make a $250 charitable giving donation on the volunteer’s behalf. It’s our way of compounding the good work associates are doing anyway.
- The Schneider Foundation also makes in-kind donations of things like printing materials, transportation services and items from the company store to help those in need. This might be something like transporting water to Flint, Michigan, driving musical instruments to the Rose Bowl for a local marching band or donating refurbished laptops. These efforts add up: in 2015, our in-kind donations had a value of more than $100,000.
- Casual for a Cause is about as simple as it gets. If office associates make a one-time donation they may dress casually for a designated week. It might seem silly on the surface, but by doing so associates raised more than $13,000 for charities in need. Who knew jeans could be worth so much?
- Leap of Faith is a book Schneider published to compile and preserve our company history, and all proceeds from its sale go to select national organizations. To date, Schneider has donated more than $10,000 to the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club of America and Fischer House.
- Once each year we turn up the volume on Casual for a Cause; we follow the same process and “sell” casual days, but we use the donations to seed our Giving Orange fund. We use this fund to rally around fellow associates when they fall on hard times. In 2015, we helped 25 associates from across the Enterprise, providing $15,000 in overall support.
- Last, but certainly not least, there are the hundreds of donations made directly by The Schneider Foundation. In 2015, we gave more than $1 million to projects across the continent in our areas of focus: arts and culture, children, education, and health and human services.
All seven efforts together resulted in $1.2 million being put to good use in communities across North America in 2015. We are completely confident that the Schneider Foundation will have just as big of an impact in 2016. With the Foundation as a conduit, the success of our company and associates has a direct link to the success of our communities. As always, charitable giving is a great return on investment!
What have you found are ways to give back to your community?