Blending resonsibilities???

A business is often judged by its bottom line — how well did the owners, managers and employees execute the business plan or generate cash flow?

And, while that philosophy may very well dictate whether a company survives and thrives, it may not necessarily reflect how the community views that business. However, a company’s philanthropic mission does.

Nearly 30 percent of Northeast Ohio businesses that responded to the 2001 ERC/SBN Workplace Practices Survey say they received recognition for their community involvement within the past two years. For those business owners — and the myriad others who get involved — it’s not about the hard work. Instead, it’s about social and corporate responsibility.

The methods vary, from financial donations or pure volunteerism to a mixture of each, but the goal remains the same — giving back to the community. Here are some examples of Northeast Ohio’s best practices in philanthropy.

Construction in FAITH

In June, Ohio-based Fifth Third Bank granted $50,000 to Lorain County’s Humility of Mary Housing Inc. to help finance the nonprofit’s $1.2 million project — FAITH House. FAITH (Families in Transitional Housing), will be a multi-unit housing facility designed to accommodate eight families in need and will include an attached community building for educational and social activities. The grant is part of Fifth Third’s long-standing commitment to aiding organizations within the Northeast Ohio community, explains Robert J. King Jr., president and CEO of Fifth Third Bank.

Says King, ”This grant will enable Humility of Mary Housing to further its mission of empowering low-income individuals and families through quality, affordable housing and support services.”

One bagel at a time

If the employees at nine Northeast Ohio Einstein Bros Bagels shops meet their goal, they’ll raise more than $6,000 for the Cleveland Foodbank this summer through three events — Rib Fest, Kids Fest and Taste of Cleveland.

”We feel a deep loyalty to our customers, as they do us, so any charitable programs that support local issues are important to us,” explains Stacie Lange, Einstein Bros public relations manager. ”We are often title sponsors, but we donate catering services and food as well.”

Einstein Bros raises money several ways, including offering prizes and food coupons.

Days of fun

Employees at Cleveland Glass Block spent one warm, sunny June day out of the office, substituting their regular work responsibilities with playing with children at the Berea Children’s Home and Family Services. CEO Mike Foti says employees were compensated for a regular work day, but instead of powering the company, they participated in a day’s worth of events designed to bring smiles to the faces of Berea Children’s Home’s children.

”We believe that collaborating with organizations like BCHFS helps build a sense of family and teamwork throughout our company,” Foti says. ”Cleveland Glass Block’s philosophy is to build our company family and our community, thereby building social capital in the Greater Cleveland area.”

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