breaking news

Court of appeals blocks Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance

Giving City: Business giving continues to grow, evolve in Austin area


Highlights

Report: Most Austin businesses with a philanthropy budget saw it increase from the previous year.

Philanthropic engagement can help recruit and retain employees, and build goodwill in the community.

Austin businesses continue to fine-tune their philanthropy, with most having a philanthropy budget that increased from the previous year, according to the 2018 Rodman Report, an annual survey of business-giving in Central Texas.

But as most companies create their own version of corporate philanthropy as they go, ongoing efforts to increase effectiveness and decrease redundancies may help businesses have a bigger effect on local social issues.

According to the new report, of the 134 executives surveyed, 68 percent reported their companies having a philanthropy budget, mostly in support of education, human services, and health and wellness, as in past years. Of those that had a philanthropy budget, 61 percent increased those budgets from the previous year, when an increase of 59 percent was reported.

In the business world, it’s long been established that philanthropic engagement with the local community can help recruit and retain employees, promote a business’s brand and build goodwill in the community.

MORE GIVING CITY: Need cited for providing foster parent info in Spanish

At most companies, employees play an important role in how the philanthropy plays out, with more than 72 percent of respondents saying they offer group volunteering opportunities.

“We don’t just work in the community,” said Linda Qian, a communications and media relations manager at Intel, one of the survey respondents. “We live here, too, and so our employees are genuinely committed to those important causes in the community.”

Lisa Rodman, president of Rodman & Associates, which administers the survey, said there are opportunities for companies to increase their philanthropic giving that aren’t necessarily tied to donations.

“I was surprised that, other than group volunteering, the other methods open to employers to engage their employees decreased year over year,” she said. “This lets me know that Central Texas employers need to implement concrete ways that they can support their employee efforts.”

Jamie Mineart, another respondent and the marketing manager for Becker Wright Consulting, a Lakeway-based recruiting firm, said she responded in part to learn more about how other businesses are executing their philanthropy.

“We don’t have anything too formal,” said Mineart, who said employees drive their philanthropy.

MORE GIVING CITY: New nonprofit aims to increase nonprofit diversity

“Businesses absolutely watch what their peers are doing,” said Rodman, “and that does influence their decision making.”

To that end, the Corporate Engagement Council, an organization launched by Sly Majid, the chief service officer in Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s office, seeks to support the philanthropic work of local businesses by hosting monthly meetings where corporate community affairs officers can learn from each other, learn about issues facing the community and share best practices.

“I think the impact of the council has been significant,” he said. “The community-wide infrastructure of our corporate and private sector is becoming more coordinated, more effective and more efficient, and as a result these companies are seeing gains made in the causes they support.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

State panel suspends Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis over threat
State panel suspends Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis over threat

The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct has suspended Williamson County Judge Dan Gattis from judicial duties with pay, said county spokeswoman Connie Odom. The suspension was in connection to an official oppression charge filed against Gattis, she said. It will not keep him from doing his job because he performs administrative duties in the county...
Austin school district launches clear bag policy at athletic events
Austin school district launches clear bag policy at athletic events

The Austin school district announced Friday a clear bag policy at athletic events that officials say is meant to enhance safety and security for athletes and spectators. The policy, set to begin Aug. 30, will be enforced at Burger Stadium, Delco Center, House Park, Nelson Field and Noack Sports Complex. It could be expanded in the future to include...
8 officers shoot, kill man who ran at them with gun, police say
8 officers shoot, kill man who ran at them with gun, police say

The sound of gunfire reverberated on Sixth Street on a busy back-to-school weekend and sent crowds scrambling as eight Austin officers shot and killed a 21-year-old man who was carrying a gun and ran toward them early Friday, police officials said. Family members said the man was Aquantis Givens, a rapper from Baton Rouge, La., who was performing Thursday...
Appeals court tosses 3 UT professors’ lawsuit challenging campus carry
Appeals court tosses 3 UT professors’ lawsuit challenging campus carry

A federal appeals court has rejected three University of Texas professors’ claims that the state’s campus carry law and its implementation by the university violate their constitutional rights. Jennifer Lynn Glass, Lisa Moore and Mia Carter argued that their First Amendment right to academic freedom has been violated because free speech...
City sued in Texas Supreme Court regarding CodeNext ballot language
City sued in Texas Supreme Court regarding CodeNext ballot language

CodeNext might be dead, but litigation regarding the controversial land-use rewrite is alive and well. On Friday, a petitioner sued the city of Austin in the Texas Supreme Court concerning ballot language tied to the now-abandoned comprehensive rewrite of the city’s land-use rules. The suit marked the second time this week that a petitioner represented...
More Stories