A search of terms like “company culture” and “corporate social responsibility” bring up myriad articles on how to engage employees and give back in your community. We at Voices for Children feel fortunate to be supported by the generosity of businesses and corporations, and to partner with them in serving children in foster care in San Diego and Riverside Counties.
One dedicated partner, MG Properties Group, has cultivated a workplace culture of generosity and camaraderie through giving at every level of the company and successfully maintains this environment through fun activities and competitive events. The real estate company has supported Voices for Children, along with other CASA programs throughout its markets, since 2015.
We sat down with MG Properties Group Director of Culture & Philanthropy, Jenny McKenna, for her creative tips and advice on how companies can support important causes through corporate giving.
Establishing and maintaining a philanthropic workplace
Businesses looking to initiate or maintain a corporate culture of philanthropy can learn from MG Properties Group. Jenny graciously offers advice on all stages of the process, from choosing a cause to support to engaging employees in the practice of giving.
Q: What are some criteria you look for when choosing which organizations to support through corporate giving?
A: MG Properties Group is proud to support human services causes including supporting foster youth, the homeless, and the hungry. We are continually inspired by the generosity of our CEO, Mark Gleiberman, his wife Hanna, and family. The Gleiberman family’s dedication to Voices for Children aids in team members’ understanding of the MG Properties Group mission, “enriching lives through better communities.”
Q: How does MG Properties engage its employees at all levels of the organization in its philanthropy and volunteerism?
A: MG Properties Group engages employees from day one to embrace our core values: dedication, respect, integrity, value, and experience, and within these values lives philanthropy and volunteerism. New team members are educated on our philanthropic efforts during the onboarding process. The importance of giving back to the communities where we live and work is woven throughout an employee’s entire career.
Q: What advice would you have for companies looking to implement charitable efforts into their workplace?
A: There is no time like the present to get started. Implementing a corporate social responsibility philosophy for your organization is not only beneficial for your bottom line, but also fosters a culture of community service within your team. And above all, it is the right thing to do! Do not overlook the reach your effort has beyond your company. Outside of our employees, MG Properties Group’s over 1,200 investors also appreciate knowing that philanthropy is a priority for the organization.
[Additionally,] solicit feedback from your employees, leaders, and stakeholders regarding which causes are important and where they prefer to focus their charitable efforts. There are many worthy causes to support; consider your mission, vision, and values, along with input from your team to identify a philanthropic path for your company.
Q: How has the implementation of company-wide charitable activities improved or otherwise impacted your office culture?
A: Corporate culture is often seen as the heart within an organization, and even more so when living through a challenging year. Employees strive to find purpose within their professional goals and achievements, but they also want to feel purpose in something bigger than themselves.
While personal fulfillment is valuable, the impact that fundraising and volunteerism has on team-building and camaraderie for our team is priceless. The union of personal gratification while building a relationship with your colleagues is beneficial for employee satisfaction, but more significantly, it creates a larger movement to drive change and support back into our communities.
About MG Properties Group
Q: How did MG Properties find out about CASA volunteers and Voices for Children?
A: From the beginning, it was important to research an initiative which covered where MG Properties Group team members and properties are located. This aspect of inclusion, paired with internal team members becoming Court Appointed Special Advocates, created a company-wide movement to support Voices for Children and CASA programs in California, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, where our 650 team members and properties […] are located.
Q: How many staff members are CASAs across your company?
A: We currently have 5 active CASAs at MG Properties Group who make us proud through their incredibly selfless choice to support foster youth in their communities. With help from dedicated partners like Voices for Children, we continue to spread awareness about the CASA program and hope additional employees will make the noble decision to join the CASA volunteer force.
Q: How would you describe MG Properties’ relationship with Voices for Children today?
A: MG Properties is proud and honored to support Voices for Children. We feel privileged to hear firsthand from the CASAs within our company regarding the vital advocacy they provide to their assigned foster children.
Ways to support VFC on a corporate level
Our CASA program benefits greatly from the support of community donors, and provides several options to donate on both an individual and corporate level. Additionally, we offer a list of creative ways to fundraise on behalf of VFC on our website. In this section, Jenny shares with us some of the successful ways her team at MG Properties Group engages their employee base in raising funds for VFC.
Q: What are examples of creative ways the MG Properties Group team has shown support for CASA programs and Voices for Children?
A: The MG Properties Group team loves to engage in “friendly” competition. Departments and on-site property teams are consistently vying for the coveted top fundraiser award announced at our annual leadership conference. From jeans days to chili cook-offs, 5K walk/runs, March Madness events, and more, our team members are up for the challenge of having fun while raising funds for Voices for Children.
Q: What are some ways you motivate or incentivize your employees to participate in corporate drives, fundraisers, and other giving events?
A: Our employees are passionate about participating in fundraising efforts and keep the mission of Voices for Children at the forefront over any incentive — though bragging rights within the company helps motivate our team.
In addition, MG Properties Group offers volunteer hours for our CASAs, so they can spend quality time with their case child/children.
Q: In what ways does Voices for Children show that the money we receive is put to good use?
A: Voices for Children demonstrates how the money they receive is put to good use through living out the organization mission to transform the lives of abused, abandoned, or neglected children by providing them with trained, volunteer CASAs. The resources and top-notch programs Voices provide to CASAs and volunteers, like “The Real Word” panel of current and former foster youth, create awareness and move the needle in recruiting more volunteer advocates.
In addition, MG Properties Group is pleased to provide in-kind gifts to Voices for Children including school supplies, toys, books, and gift cards during the holiday season, which go directly to foster children.
Join our community of giving – set up a corporate giving plan with VFC today!
Join dozens of generous community funders, including MG Properties Group, by inquiring about setting up a tailored corporate giving plan with Voices for Children. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to learn how your team can support the work of our amazing CASA volunteers.
Special thank you to MG Properties Group Director of Culture & Philanthropy, Jenny McKenna, for her contributions to this article.