Expanded Workspaces and Expanded Services: A Gain by Giving Success Story

 

LifeBridge Partnership participants work on an activity in a communal space.

Better Business Bureau’ s Gain by Giving Program, which connects BBB Accredited Businesses with BBB Accredited Charities, is now in its third year of success at BBB. The program provides opportunities for businesses to give back to the community and for charities to find trustworthy allies to provide, services, support and even serve on boards. For participating organizations, Gain by Giving connections have led to projects that helped both the business and charity fulfill their missions.

Recently, BBB Accredited Business Evans Facility Consultants, was looking for a way to give back to its community. Evans Facility Consultants has been a BBB Accredited Business since 2012. A personal office and interior design business, they help nonprofits, governmental organizations and businesses plan office space and acquire office furniture that will suit physical and financial needs. After reading an article about the Gain by Giving Program, owner Mark Evans told BBB that he wanted to donate his work expertise to help local Accredited Charities. BBB helped Evans reach out to all of our Accredited Charity Seal Holders with his offer. This was exactly the sort of assistance BBB Accredited Charity LifeBridge Partnership required.

LifeBridge’ s mission is to empower people with disabilities to develop skills for independence and to actively participate in the community. Their staff members organize enrichment programs for children and adults with disabilities and help them to get out into the community and build rewarding relationships. LifeBridge Partnership’ s Executive Director, Karen Schuster, says that the assistance they received from Evans Facility Consultants this year made her BBB Accreditation worthwhile on its own. As a BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holder, LifeBridge is always looking for ways to cut operational expenses so they can devote more resources to programming.

“Much more efficient and secure workstations have allowed us to add capacity to serve without having to add building space,” Schuster told BBB. Earlier in 2016, LifeBridge hired more staff in order to better serve their clients, but their office setup couldn’ t accommodate everyone’ s needs. Some staff members were forced to share work spaces and use outdated, inefficient office furniture. LifeBridge needed space planning services to enable them to grow within their current office space when they saw an email from BBB, informing them that Evans Consultants wanted to offer to help.

After BBB made the connection, Evans Facility Consultants and LifeBridge Partnership came together to work. Evans measured and drew up LifeBridge’ s entire facility, then did space planning for the building, showing how they could plan future expansion with new hires. Evans donated 11 improved workstations for their staff, and helped LifeBridge to source additional furniture at a discounted rate. The project is set to be completed on March 6. Schuster encourages other BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holders to participate in the Gain by Giving program.

“ It was a great resource,” she said. BBB is proud to have helped establish Evans Facility Consultants’ and LifeBridge Partnership’ s relationship.

“Stories like this are why we run the Gain by Giving Program,” says Tracy Hardgrove, BBB Vice President of Operations and Administration. “ When we collaborate, we can all accomplish more. Bringing BBB Accredited Businesses and BBB Accredited Charities together is good for the organizations involved and good for eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois.” Would your business or charity like to get involved with Gain by Giving? Email Tracy Hardgrove at thardgrove@stlouisbbb.org to participate.

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