Giving back often requires a leap of faith

It is easy to give when you have too much.

True altruism occurs when leaders choose to honor their commitment to support those who are less fortunate, even when it’s not the easy thing to do. At Bravo Wellness, philanthropy is embedded in the company culture, says Founder and CEO Jim Pshock. This remains true, even if the company is going through a tough time financially.

“We have five core values and they’re not what you would typically see in an entrepreneurial organization,” Pshock says. “The No. 1 thing is serving others. We have internal rewards for demonstrating a servant’s heart and believing it’s a true honor to serve, whether it’s a co-worker, our client or the community. The second one is doing what is right, even when it’s not the easy thing.”

As you’ll read in this month’s Building Stronger Communities feature, Bravo Wellness persevered during a recent struggle and continued to make a difference in Northeast Ohio through its contributions to numerous local charitable causes. The company also provides two days of voluntary time off where employees can go out and serve the community on company time.

As the leader of your business, your first priority, of course, must be to your employees who have families to support and to your customers who are relying on your company for a particular product or service. Beyond that, it comes down to faith.

“If you know you’re choosing between paying the electrical bill and sending a check to a mission in Africa, you have to take care of your customers and your employees,” Pshock says. “But when you’re sitting early in the year and you still have a healthy forecast, it’s not guaranteed. You give in faith that you’re going to have a strong year, even if you don’t know for sure yet.”

New Jersey-based Charity Navigator estimates that more than $400 billion was given to charitable causes in 2017, setting a record for the third year in a row. More and more companies are finding a way to do their part for those in need.

“Personally I’d rather give $1,000 to one organization than $1 to 1,000 organizations,” Pshock says. “You try to make sure you can have a targeted impact. But the more you can align the needs of the community and the heart and priorities of employees with the core values of the company, I think everybody wins.”

Mark Scott is Senior Associate Editor at Smart Business Network