A philanthropic legacy Featured

7:00pm EDT November 24, 2006

Philanthropy is serious business at Westlake’s Nordson Corp., which has provided more than 50 years of service to local nonprofits.

Edward Campbell, chairman and CEO of Nordson, says businesses should share their success with the communities in which they operate.

“Nordson was founded with the belief that by providing customers with outstanding products and services, offering employees fair compensation and career opportunities in a positive working environment, and giving back to our local communities, shareholders will benefit,” Campbell says.

Nordson produces equipment to apply adhesives, sealants and coating to consumer and industrial products. and each year, it contributes 5 percent of its pretax domestic profit to support the Nordson Corp. Foundation. Last year, the corporation paid out $1.6 million to the foundation, which distributed $925,483 to nonprofits. This year’s contributions are expected to reach $2 million, with 75 percent earmarked for local organizations.

The company made $164,620 in direct corporate gifts to nonprofits in 2005. It also matches employee contributions to nonprofits dollar-for-dollar, up to $6,000 each calendar year; Nordson contributed nearly $500,000 through this program in 2005.

But it’s not just about providing funding. Nordson’s Time ’n Talent program sponsors year-round volunteer activities, with area employees logging 1,532 hours of volunteer time with nonprofits last year. Nordson also created the Technical Assistance Taskforce this year to provide information technology services to nonprofits.

“A company’s reputation and values are important to both customers and employees. The values behind our commitment to our communities also drive the integrity of our commitments to customers and employees,” Campbell says.

For the past three years, Nordson has leased a building it no longer uses to an Elyria nonprofit teen organization for $1 per year.

Projects also include building a playground and basketball court at an Elyria public housing development, and it acts as a facilitator between the Lorain County Schools and local service providers.

“Social responsibility is not a part-time strategy,” Campbell says. “It runs to the core values of the company and its leadership. Everything flows from there — how strategies are set, decisions are made, people are treated and communities are valued.”

HOW TO REACH: Nordson Corp., www.nordson.com or (440) 892-1580