Businesses Give To Charities, Gain In Relationships

Gain by Giving logoBy Bill Smith

Still in its infancy, BBB’s Gain by Giving program revolutionizes the way businesses and charities partner with one another in the St. Louis region.

The two-year-old program – which brings BBB Accredited Businesses together with BBB Accredited Charities – continues to bring together people in a way that mutually benefits the businesses, the charities and the BBB St. Louis region. In September, BBB St. Louis was honored with an award for Gain By Giving at the International Assembly of Better Business Bureaus in Indianapolis.

Tracy Hardgrove, BBB vice president of operations/administration, who oversees the program, says she has been overwhelmed how quickly and enthusiastically both area businesses and nonprofits have embraced the program.

“Project by project, partnership by partnership, we are witnessing simple but wonderful acts of kindness and generosity,” Hardgrove said. “When Accredited Businesses begin to work with Accredited Charities, there is an immediate feeling of common trust and respect. Both parties appreciate doing work with others who have strived for ̶ and met ̶ high ethical standards. It has been truly transformative.”

This month, John Beal Inc., a BBB Accredited Business with headquarters in Maryland Heights, began work on a $15,000 roof replacement at the Nature Center/Office Building for the nonprofit World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, at no cost to the sanctuary.

The company’s generosity means that money that otherwise would have gone toward the repairs now can be directed to other important needs.

Roger Holloway, director of the Wild Bird Sanctuary, called Gain by Giving, “a wonderful opportunity for charitable groups to share their mission with the business community.

“This project is more about the business learning about our mission as an environmental organization.  It’s not us getting a bid and writing a check.”

The project, Holloway says, “frees up our limited resources to educate the public.”

Not content with limiting its Gain by Giving commitment to the sanctuary project, Beal is looking at assisting several other charities with projects, saying it wants to donate labor and materials worth $15,000 to an Accredited Charity every quarter for the next year.

Other Accredited Businesses that have come forward to pledge work, materials or money to area charities are Greener Construction Services, Tesson Roofing & Exteriors, Amaya Contracting, Precision Construction Services and Mosby Building Arts.

BBB’s Hardgrove said that, while details are still pending, Accredited Business BEST Transportation is hoping to work with the American Cancer Society in St. Louis to provide crucial transportation to cancer patients and their families.

Schaefer Auto Body has pledged to donate a fully restored vehicle to a charity and Geile/Leon Marketing already is working on a project to support Children’s Home Society.

Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said Gain by Giving hopes to build on these partnerships in coming months and years.

“Gain by Giving is a win-win for everyone involved,” she said. “It offers charities a chance to spread their messages to local business leaders and an opportunity to obtain critical services at little or no cost.

“It offers businesses a way to give back to the community that has supported them and a way to get their work in front of a new group of potential clients.

“And it makes the St. Louis region a richer – and better – place for all of us.”

This article originally appeared in the Fall 2016 issue of BBB’s Torchlight magazine.

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