Thanking St. Louis Through Our New Charitable Giving Program

Several months ago, I started a Charitable Giving Program here at J.P. Griffard & Associates.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and all of us here are pretty excited about it.

Why, you ask?  Simple enough-I was raised to believe that I give of my time and wealth because I have the ability to do so.  Furthermore, as I get “more mature”, I realize that my time here is fleeting.  I want to leave this world a better place than I found it, for my kids and for others.

There are other more practical reasons as well.  For starters-Jess, Molly, and I have found it pretty motivating to know that we are working not just to pay our bills, but also to serve a larger goal.  It’s so heartwarming to read the thank you notes we receive from people.

It also makes for more efficient decision-making.  As any business owner can tell you, it’s not long after you hang out your shingle that you are besieged by requests from local charities for assistance.  All of them make heartfelt appeals, most seem to be for a very good cause.  Too, once you make a donation of any size, they come back to you year after year, hoping you’ll donate again.  (Don’t get me wrong-if I ran a charity I would do the exact same thing!)   Now we have a clear and objective set of guidelines to help make those decisions.  In fact, the team (currently Jessica and Molly) makes the final decision.  I don’t even get a vote unless there’s a tie.

So far, we have also received positive feedback from clients as well.  Our monthly donation is based upon both total revenues and also qualifying new deposits from clients.  They like doing business with a company who supports meaningful charities right here in St. Louis.

Yes, it’s possible we could also receive some favorable publicity from this program, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.  I’d rather give the money away to a meaningful cause than pay for advertising.

It’s my hope that by sharing our news, we might inspire other businesses to “pay it forward”.  There is so much good to be done!  I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of this “greedy rich business owner” theme that’s being played out in the political world, so I’m going to combat it head on.  If you own a business and would like to know some details about how we set up our program, I’m happy to share.  Contact me at joe (at) jpgriff dot com.

If you want to recommend a charity to be considered as a candidate for our “Charity of the Month”, let us know and we will send you some information about our program guidelines.  We prefer to focus on organizations that have a strong presence in St. Louis, and who serve the following niches: veterans of any branch of military service, the homeless and near-homeless(especially programs that support a transition to independence), entrepreneurship, education, and medical research.

I’ll be blogging in coming months about some of the organizations we’ve selected as “Charity of the Month”.  Maybe you will decide you want to support them too.  I’d love to hear what you think as you read some of our updates!

Cheers!

Joe Griffard, CFP®