Businesses of all sizes and industries can impact the communities surrounding them by having corporate philanthropy programs. These are investments and activities that a company voluntarily gets involved with to account for its social impact, including financial investments, product donations, in-kind services, and volunteerism.
The impacts that philanthropy offers a company, its employees, and society are invaluable. For local organizations, grants, financial support and volunteer hours can help provide supplies, resources and manpower that otherwise would go unfunded. These benefits can help strengthen the community with more opportunities for residents and boost the local economy.
Employee morale and recruitment efforts can also be bolstered through a company’s philanthropic programs. When a company shows that it cares about the community and emphasizes a sense of giving, employees and job seekers can feel that they are or can be part of something bigger beyond the typical scope of work. People are also passionate about serving others, and some companies even offer employee funds that provide monetary funding to colleagues who are going through unforeseen financial burdens.
Consequently, when a company has philanthropic programs and is well established, the local community, clients and potential customers can have a positive perception of the company. This positive image encourages community members to utilize the company’s services over a competitor who is not as involved with the community and helping others.
Examples of how small-to-mid-sized business support their communities:
Regardless of the size of a company, businesses can incorporate giving and philanthropy through several different options.
Community Grants: Surrounding community organizations can apply to a company with a community grant program explaining how the grant would support their mission, or the company itself initiates community grants.
Volunteer time off: Volunteer time off is employer-sponsored paid time off to do volunteer work, allowing employees to take a day away from work to contribute to non-profit efforts.
Matching gifts: Companies with matching gift initiatives match the employee’s dollar amount of funds to eligible charities and non-profits.
RK Industries (RK) is the parent company of seven wholly-owned subsidiaries focused on construction, manufacturing, fabrication and building services. It operates four manufacturing and fabrication facilities in the greater Denver area and has helped construct some of the most prominent buildings shaping the Denver skyline. For close to 60 years, RK has had the privilege of supporting numerous nonprofits and charities that improve the quality of life in the community and the quality of life for its employees. Today, RK continues its proud tradition of philanthropy through the RK Foundation and RK Cares.
Established in 2011, the RK Foundation allocates grant funding and supports employee volunteer hours to local nonprofits and causes that align with our three focus areas: community development, education, and health. The RK Foundation is funded by recycling all of the scrap metal produced at RK’s four shop facilities, construction projects, and service sites. All proceeds are directed to the RK Foundation, supporting community organizations in a unique and sustainable funding model.
Community Development: RK believes in the power of individuals, groups, and businesses working together to strengthen the communities in which its employees and clients live and work. It seeks to support organizations that innovate and generate tangible solutions to issues affecting communities in the Rocky Mountain region.
Education: Quality education systems are the foundation for successful businesses and communities and are a key driver of disrupting so many families' poverty cycles. We have a strong connection to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and a passion for developing career technical education and pathways for the skilled trades. Our purpose is to invest in various educational pathways that allow a diverse workforce to flourish. We respect and admire 501(c)(3)s that are relentless in their pursuit of delivering better quality solutions.
Health: Healthy stakeholders and communities are a priority and a driving force behind our giving. RK supports health initiatives in the local communities and focuses on employee wellness, physically and mentally. RK places special emphasis on funding mental health awareness, suicide prevention and men’s health initiatives.
RK Cares serves as RK's philanthropic and corporate citizenship arm, overseeing employee engagement and community outreach efforts. Throughout the year, RK Cares organizes various volunteer opportunities for RK employees, their families, and friends. Volunteer events include packing food at local food banks, mobile blood drives, making blankets, wrapping holiday presents for kids in need, and assembling care packages for deployed military members, to name a few. RK Cares volunteers regularly log around 400 hours during the group volunteer activities on an annual basis.
In 2019, the RK Cares Foundation was formally established to oversee the new employee hardship fund program, the HERO Fund. The HERO Fund empowers our team to help one another reduce the burden when unexpected emergencies occur. It is an emergency relief fund that is a resource for RK employees and their immediate family members when they experience financial hardships such as medical emergencies, the death of a family member, and loss of housing or transportation due to unexpected circumstances. RK employees donate collectively to support co-workers and their families to help each other recover and rebuild.
RK is proud to support its communities and the health and well-being of its employees. It is a company that understands that helping others is part of its business model. Providing support outside its typical project initiatives is a way for RK to give back and be a helping hand through the power of its financial and employee volunteer resources.
Written by Ileana Morales
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