Heart Smart: Firm's Giving Is Grassroots Employee Effort

By Deanna C. White
 
For many accounting firms today, charitable giving is simply a daily part of doing business, as CPAs increasingly look to firm leadership to provide an outlet for their natural inclination to give back. 
 
But with so many worthwhile causes to choose from, it can be difficult for firms to select a charity that truly reflects the altruism of its entire workforce, particularly when, as  in the case of New York Citybased public accounting firm Berdon LLP, that workforce includes more than 350 employees.
 
But Berdon has found a solution to the well-intentioned conundrum of picking the perfect cause. The firm simply asks its employees which charities they'd like to donate to  all 350 of them.
 
"We look to our own people for ideas," said Karen Froewiss, director of Human Resources at Berdon. "Employees who have a cause or charity they feel strongly about can come to us and we'll arrange a specific day to support that cause."
 
Berdon leaders say it's a solution that benefits both its employees and the number of diverse nonprofit organizations at the receiving end of the firm's charitable support.
 
"Our charitable giving comes from the very top of our firm, which is one of the reasons I believe it has been so successful," said Kayte Steinert-Threlkeld, chief marketing officer at Berdon. "Our comanaging partners believe in charitable giving as individuals and at the corporate level. We have a very kind, gentle, and loving environment here at Berdon, and we really do believe in the motto 'do good and good will follow'."

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