We recently chatted with Kim Daniels, Office & Community Relations Manager at The Scoular Company, to discuss how Scoular engages their employees in philanthropy, partnering with OCF, and why aligning corporate giving with culture is critical to success.

What is your organization’s philanthropic philosophy and how do you go about carrying it out?

Scoular’s philosophy is simple: walk alongside our employees in supporting local charities and organizations in which they are personally invested. To accomplish this, each year Scoular earmarks a percentage of its profit before taxes for charitable giving and sets it aside in The Scoular Foundation. The Foundation then allocates a portion of this funding to each and every U.S. Scoular location, and employees work together to determine how those funds are spent in their local communities. The result is a win‐win situation: employees are encouraged and empowered to give their time, talent, and personal financial support to their local communities and their efforts are compounded by funding from The Scoular Foundation, benefitting local organizations and communities.

The families of Scoular’s modern‐day founders, Marshall Faith and Neal Harlan who purchased the company in 1967, were and are personally active in providing long‐standing support and leadership to charities in their communities. They lead by example and encourage employees to take leadership positions in charitable organizations that align with personal interests. In early 2019, The Scoular Foundation will share a newly created Mission Statement with all Scoular employees, promoting the spirit of giving across the enterprise.

How has partnering with the Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) assisted Scoular in executing your corporate giving and furthering your employee engagement?

 OCF has been a valuable resource when questions arise on the rules around specific giving activities. Additionally, OCF is a valued community partner in the annual 24‐hour giving  marathon, Omaha Gives! Scoular supports Omaha Gives! by matching employee donations during the campaign up to $10,000.

It’s a great incentive to introduce first‐time givers or new employees to Scoular’s philosophy of giving, and it’s fun to see the enthusiasm in the office as the “meter” goes up with each donation. We approach our engagement with charitable organizations as a collaborative partner that is actively engaged, compassionate, and a high integrity supporter.

What ways do you encourage your employees to get involved in the community?

The families of our company’s modern‐day founders and our company’s leadership team lead by example. We also support active Charitable Committees in our larger offices. These committees collectively determine how Foundation funds allocated to their local office or facility are disbursed within their community. The committees also select service projects that they will support in addition to monetary donations from The Scoular Foundation.

And how have you seen employee engagement around philanthropy benefit the company and staff?

There’s a domino effect—giving is self-renewing and contagious. When employees are given opportunities to support their communities through gifts from The Foundation as well as their direct involvement in service projects, we’ve seen a real surge in engagement and pride. Employees are proud to work for a company that cares, and the good feelings that come from doing good propel them to continue their good works, both personally and on behalf of the company.

What insights or advice would you share with local businesses as they are defining their own corporate philanthropy programs?

You need to match your giving program with your culture. If those things are not aligned, success will be challenging. And, it needs to be organic—start small and build.

Why does Scoular make it a priority to make philanthropic investments in our community?

Giving is part of our company’s DNA. When Mr. Faith and Mr. Harlan purchased the company, they were intentional about ensuring that giving back was part of the company’s cultural foundation. Today, our board, our senior leaders, and all employees continue our company’s commitment to support the communities where we work and live. It’s the right thing to do and it aligns with our value of compassion, one of our six company values for which we hold ourselves accountable.