Open Sourcing Our Corporate Giving Model
Last year, my company Bateman Group collaborated with a corporate social responsibility expert to design and rollout E3thos, which we’re excited to officially launch today. E3thos is our shared commitment to building a mindful business. It’s our moral GPS, guiding how we treat each other, how we give back to our communities and how we approach our business practices.
We were inspired by the 1–1–1 movement created by Salesforce.com, which serves as a beacon for other socially conscious tech companies, like our clients AdRoll, Campaign Monitor,FinancialForce.com and Lookout. E3thos is the manifestation of our own 2–2–2 model that’s better tailored for the thousands of professional services agencies like Bateman Group serving the $3.5 trillion technology market:
We pledge 2 percent of our profits, 2 percent of our time and 2 percent of partner equity to support local nonprofit programs in San Francisco and New York City.
While our valuations aren’t making headlines like the tech startups pledging 1 percent, our unique advantage is that we are profitable businesses with the collective means to give back billions.
We’ve open sourced the mechanics of our program below to serve as a resource for other agencies who share our commitment to social responsibility in hopes they will join us in pledging 2 percent.
Here’s how it works.
How We Direct Our Giving
When designing E3thos, we surveyed our team to better understand the importance giving plays in their lives. More than 90 percent said it was important for them to feel like they were making a positive impact on society while at work, and 80 percent said they would be willing make minor sacrifices in employee perks if those dollars were invested back into our communities.
We also learned that our small, but mighty team collectively volunteers at and/or regularly donates to more than 50 nonprofits. We used this feedback to focus our giving efforts around the 3Es in E3thos:
- EMPOWERMENT: Our commitment to programs and services that empower our local communities with critical access to arts, culture, education, mentorship, technology, healthcare and the opportunity to thrive.
- EQUALITY: Our commitment to fostering innovative ideas, products, services and business models through greater diversity.
- ENVIRONMENT: Our commitment to environmental stewardship through investing in our own green business practices and supporting innovative programs to preserve our planet.
How We Pledge 2 Percent of Profits
Using the 3Es as our north star, we created several employee-driven grant programs that collectively commit 2 percent of Bateman Group’s operating profit to local nonprofits.
- Local Impact Grants are nominated by staff and awarded to innovative community programs every month. Recipients of these grants to date, include Cake4Kids, The Edible Schoolyard Project, Earth Force, Willie Mae Rock Camp, The Cancer League and 826 Valencia.
- Impassioned Individual Grants are awarded to a local nonprofit on behalf of every employee after their 90-day anniversary. A sampling of those causes, includes Adventure Camp, Charity Water, Minds Matter of San Francisco, Samaritans Suicide Prevention Hotline and Save the Children.
- Core Values Grants are made annually to three organizations selected by Fred (ODC/Dance), Tyler (Big Brothers Big Sisters New York City) and me (San Francisco Education Fund).
A designated committee steers all of these grant programs based on our giving criteria, with active involvement from our partners and senior leadership.
How We Pledge 2 Percent of Time
Our goal is to give 2 percent of our time through pro-bono work, paid volunteer time (we grant up to 40 hours of paid time off for volunteering with an approved 501(c)(3) organization) and company service days. To maximize the impact of the hours we give through company service days, we’re partnering with sf.city and the San Francisco Education Fund to adopt a public elementary school classroom in San Francisco through the Circle the Schools initiative. In addition, our team in Brooklyn is partnering with Big Brothers Big Sisters New York City to develop a Workplace Mentorship program for a group of local high school students.
Our hope is that through forging deeper partnerships with both organizations, Bateman Group staff will be motivated to use their paid volunteer hours by getting involved beyond our service days.
How We Pledge 2 Percent of Equity
In addition to pledging 2 percent of company profits, Fred, Tyler and I are personally pledging at least 2 percent of our income derived from partner distributions to local and national nonprofits.