Doing well by doing good Featured

7:00pm EDT November 24, 2006

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 way.”

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 www.brownflynn.com