Gainer Donnelly & Desroches, a Houston-based accounting firm with a history of charitable giving, is taking a walk on the wild side with its latest philanthropic effort. The firm has provided financial support for the Houston Zoo’s new exhibit. Bill Grabarek reports.
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“At GD&D we have three commitments: to our clients, our staff, and our community. In our ongoing effort to give back to that community, we strive to create partnerships with a purpose,” George Hawkins, managing partner, told AccountingWEB. “It was fortuitous that the Houston Zoo broke ground on their 6.5-acre African Forest project at the same time we launched our 2010 calendar, Timeless Africa, as we cannot imagine a more respected and deserving organization to support.”
For the past seven years, the firm has been producing a wall calendar featuring the photography of Sam Gainer, a partner at GD&D. The back of the 2010 calendar features information about The African Forest project.
“This is a different avenue of promotion for [the zoo],” Stacy Soefer, director of marketing and communications at GD&D, told AccountingWEB. “We print 10,000 calendars. All of our clients, prospects, and referral sources get these calendars and they all get to learn about The African Forest project at the zoo. In addition to partnering with them on the calendar, we did an event there to promote The African Forest project and promote our calendar.”
The firm has had a connection to the Houston Zoo prior to its contribution to The African Forest project, according to Soefer. GD&D has held several company events at the zoo and one of the firm’s employees is a volunteer tour guide.
“We are grateful for both Gainer Donnelly & Desroches’ financial and promotional support,” said Nick Espinosa, the Houston Zoo’s director of development. “We look to build long-term and deep relationships that go beyond just financial support and I believe we have struck that perfect balance in our partnership with Gainer Donnelly & Desroches.”
The Houston Zoo, however, is just one example of GD&D’s philanthropy. The firm also sponsors an employee-directed charitable giving program. Every quarter, employees nominate a charity and a vote is held. The company donates to five or six of the organizations receiving the most votes.
“We have donated over $1 million since the program began in 2000. Last year alone we gave to 25 different charities,” Soefer said. “We do pride ourselves on our relationships with local organizations. We like to shed light on what they are doing.”