Doing well by doing good

BrownFlynn’s goal is to help organizations affect their communities in a
positive way.

As principals and co-owners of the
Highland Heights-based community relationship management firm, Margie Flynn
and Barbara Brown work diligently to
ensure their firm serves as a role model.

“It’s not just, ‘This is a do-gooder thing,
and we have to write the check,’” Flynn
says. “There are so many ways that companies can get involved in a meaningful

Companies that want to become more
socially responsible and create a formal
action program can donate time and services and make in-kind donations. But,
Flynn says, the organizations a company
supports should align with its values and
core competencies.

“Then the organization gains the expertise
where there may be a need, and we, in turn,
are able to apply our skills in ways that
make the most strategic sense,” she says.

For BrownFlynn’s five-year anniversary, it created The BrownFlynn Book
Club, donating countless pro bono hours
and more than 7,000 books to Cleveland’s schoolchildren. In celebration of
the firm’s 10th anniversary, it started the
Circle of 10, a contest to raise awareness
of outstanding local nonprofit organizations.

In addition, the company has provided
more than $32,000 in financial support to
area scholarship programs, pledge drives
and sponsorships.

Being involved in the community is a
brand differentiator. Flynn says consumers are making greater demands upon
companies to be good corporate citizens
in the products they make, and they will
choose one product over another if it is
aligned with something in the community.

Participating in community service projects is also a good tool for attracting and
retaining employees. Flynn says today’s
graduates are looking not only for a paycheck but an opportunity to make a difference in the world.

“If you look at business schools today,
and you look at the next generation of leaders and supporters, this is being built into
the curriculum of business schools —
that’s how important this is,” she says.
“What used to be just do-gooder work is
now becoming a business imperative.”

HOW TO REACH: BrownFlynn, (440) 484-0100 or