Corporate charity work strengthens the community, your employees and your business
By Matt Gorr, Chairman, First Western Trust of Boulder
More and more, companies across the country are strengthening their communities by helping those in need. Here at First Western Trust, we are committed to contributing not only money but also services to local non-profits.
It’s an important component to how we do business in our community. We find that supporting philanthropic causes not only helps enrich the lives of our employees, it also strengthens the community as a whole — and that’s good for business.
First Western associates are encouraged to volunteer their time for non-profit organizations at any level, whether it be helping with a fundraising event or serving on a board.
As a company, First Western’s emphasis on giving is focused on women and girls’ causes, economic development, and the arts. However, each of our locations is given the latitude to pursue a cause of its choosing; the Denver office has partnered with Junior Achievement to teach kids entrepreneurship and financial literacy, while those at our Boulder office have served on local boards supporting kids, education and business advocacy along with volunteering at Brent's Place, a home where children battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can live with their families while receiving treatment. First Western Boulder has also been a long-time supporter of the Boulder International Film Festival, and we have recently sponsored the Jaipur Literature Festival to promote the arts in our local community.
Our associates are not directed to volunteer for any particular non-profit; they’re encouraged to choose whatever community service interests them. Becoming involved in something they are passionate about — whether it’s volunteering for the YMCA, serving on a board of directors for a local economic development organization or serving meals at a homeless shelter — makes their service enjoyable and fulfilling, and it fuels an increasingly greater desire to serve. Co-workers who serve side by side in the community develop a sense of family that enriches the work environment.
Though First Western’s primary reason for community involvement is altruistic, its philanthropic endeavors, in the end, also have a positive effect on business.
When associates invest their time with charitable organizations, they meet and get to know other professionals, perhaps ones whose expertise complement the banking and wealth management industry. Attorneys, accountants and other professionals often develop a relationship with First Western because of their experience with an associate on a non-profit board or volunteering for a charitable event. So the connections with these “centers of influence” made through philanthropic organizations benefit the company.
Sponsoring charitable events and having representatives of First Western serve on boards also boosts brand recognition. When First Western helps a worthy cause, it expands its presence in the community; people remember its involvement when it’s time to choose a financial institution. People want to work with businesses that work and invest to improve the community.
For this reason, philanthropic endeavors can be considered a component of marketing — the best kind. I’ve had people say they work with First Western because of what we do in the community. They tell us they know there are a lot of choices for financial services, but the impact First Western makes in the community was the deciding factor when selecting a financial partner. There are only so many marketing dollars, but committing them to a non-profit in need or to a charitable cause spreads them around in a positive way.
We at First Western believe it’s incumbent on us as a financial institution to engage with and invest in our local community. We hope that other businesses adopt the same dedication to community service.
Matt Gorr is the chairman of First Western Trust’s Boulder office and is responsible for building and maintaining client relationships in the community. He has extensive experience in providing comprehensive wealth management and private banking solutions. He also served as chair of the board for the YMCA of Boulder Valley and is chair of the Boulder Economic Council with the Boulder Chamber. To connect with Matt Gorr, please click here.
Learn more about First Western’s banking services at myfw.com.
First Western Trust (Nasdaq:MYFW), is the only home grown, publicly held Colorado bank. With 13 offices in Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California, over $1.1 billion in total assets, and $5.5 billion in trust and investment management assets, MYFW delivers integrated wealth management on a private trust bank platform.