Sharing our Strength

How important is giving back for businesses today? How important should it be?

At Pefin we have thought a lot about this. Being an AI Financial Advisory company we spend a lot of time thinking about how to help people improve their financial lives and attain their dreams. But we also know that for a lot of people, their problems are a lot bigger than financial planning. Problems like illness, poverty, and disability are the kind of “today” issues that make looking towards tomorrow’s objectives almost impossible.

We know that we are part of a community. A neighborhood, a country, a world. We have an obligation to share our strength- “to whoever much is given, much is expected.” As a corporation, we know that we need to deliver a great product- that is what we need to do to stay in business. We realize that this has positive benefits to the world- just like all great companies delivering great products make the world better. But we get compensated for that- it is the beauty of the way business works. But is that enough? We don’t think it is.

Why not?

1) Because there are a lot of people in this world who are in really tough situations, and a little help from someone can make a big difference. At Pefin we have committed to donating 2% of our consumer revenues to charity. We are starting off with 3 charities that we find exemplary- in the work they do, and in the amounts they give to their recipients relative to the amount collected. We know there are many other charities that are top notch (and we would love to hear if there are others that you would recommend!). The three we have chosen to start with are:

a) Building Homes for Heroes — Building Homes for Heroes® is strongly committed to rebuilding lives and supporting the brave men and women who were injured while serving the country during the time of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. The organization builds or modifies homes, and gifts them, mortgage-free, to veterans and their families. It’s our honor to support the men and women who have loyally and courageously served our country.

b) A Kid Again -For twenty plus years, A Kid Again has helped to restore a sense of normal for families thrust into the situation of having to care for a child with a life-threatening illness. Often these families are unprepared and unequipped to deal with what follows. A Kid Again hosts year-round events to support these families and provide them with memories that will last a lifetime.

c) College Track- Empowering students from underserved communities to graduate from college. College Track is the catalyst for change for under-resourced high school students who are motivated to earn a college degree. Since its inception, College Track has grown each year, strengthening its services and expanding its program to support more and more students.

2) Because we are an employer and we know the people who work here are looking for more than a paycheck. Having an enriching and interesting job is part of what’s important, for sure. Being treated with respect at work and having wages and benefits that remove the worry of day to day survival is also key. But we know that people also want to find ways to connect to their community. Everyone wants to make a difference that goes beyond sending in money to charities. Providing an opportunity for our employees to step out beyond their day job and into a role of “part of the community” makes for happier, more committed employees. We are excited to have our next team outing — at the Ronald McDonald House in New York City - where we will be serving breakfast to resident families. Check out our Pefin Team Instagram page in a few weeks for pictures of that event.

3) Because it is the right thing to do. To do more than write a check, and to look someone in the eye and say, “how can I help”? For those of us who are old enough, we know that troubles- whether financial or health or whatever it is- can strike any of us. “There but for the grace of God go I” is a reality- and we help because we know that the person we could be helping could be our brother, or sister or mother or father- or us, one day. If every person, and every company, just did a little bit to help, maybe the world could look a little bit brighter. I met Jane Mosbacher Morris, Founder and CEO of “To the Market”. This is such an amazing company- they:

… economically empowers vulnerable communities through artisan enterprise, including those that have overcome abuse, conflict, and disease. By partnering with artisan co-operatives and ethical producers around the world to bring their goods “to the market,” we take an active role in helping them achieve economic independence, while raising awareness about the challenges that they face.

So, for those of us who buy corporate swag (the t-shirts, pens, bags and other items that are branded and we give to clients as advertising)- we can buy these amazing products (seriously they are GREAT! Check them out here!) and help people who are trying to regain their economic footing. As a company Pefin is committed to sourcing our products from To the Market- it is a win/win for sure!

We keep looking for new ways to positively impact our communities in the world around us. Why? Because we can and it makes us happy. We welcome any suggestions you can send our way as well. We know we have a lot to be thankful for and we are delighted to share that with the world around us. Just our way of saying “thank you!” for all we have.