We have heard from a lot of companies that would like to do more for their communities but are constrained by limited philanthropic dollars. So we were delighted to hear about the giving program at First Foundation, Supporting Our Communities. Conceived by Doug Freeman, Director of Trust Services and Consulting, the program aims to support non-profit organizations in the eight communities where First Foundation works.
First Foundation is a bank and wealth management company that provides investment management, wealth planning, consulting, trust and banking services. As part of their wealth management services, they help clients manage their money and their philanthropy.
Philanthropy is in their DNA.
Despite that, First Foundation knew they need to try harder to make an impact on their local communities. According to Marty Dutch, Assistant Vice President, Philanthropy Services, “Other banks write big checks, but we knew we wouldn’t be able to do that. So a pillar of the Supporting Our Communities program is to involve First Foundation employees in giving back.”
Each year non-profit organizations from the areas around each office are invited to apply to the program where they receive a modest cash commitment and up to $20,000 of in-kind consulting services in areas such as working with Board members, staff development, donors, prospects, and key volunteers, centers of influence, and referral sources.
Dutch says the most popular project is working with Boards on retreats and training in telling the organization’s story. She says it’s related to fundraising goals, “If you connect the heart and mind, the wallet will follow.” In training, First Foundation employees work with boards to understand their role which comes down to governing, being advocates, and sustaining the organization.
First Foundation is currently wrapping up an engagement with their 40th non-profit partnership. Looking back, Dutch offers this advice to all organizations and their boards, “You have to review your bylaws and gift policy. I am surprised by the number of boards that don’t. You just have to do it.”
For more information on Supporting Our Communities click here. Hawai’i applications are due by May 1 and the next round for Orange County, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Coachella Valley, Imperial Valley, San Diego County, and Las Vegas opens in November.