Friday, December 3, 2010

Give A Little Bit

(Video credit: Rodger Hodgson (one of the original co-lead singers of Supertramp) performing "Give a Little Bit" live during Ottawa Bluesfest, 7/10/10, posted by 'Endlisnis' on YouTube. Song begins 2:08 into the video)

As accountants, finance professionals, legal and compliance professionals, and regulation-watchers, we tend to have our own way of thinking about things like:

But, there's another side to risks and uncertainties in our everyday world, outside our offices and in our communities, that relates to the uncertainty some people have over where their next meal will come from, whether they'll have a roof over their head that night, and other issues that gravely threaten their well-being, sometimes, seemingly, without a place to turn.

This is where, in addition to community and not-for-profit organizations struggling to meet these needs, some companies and associations encourage their employees (members) to voluntarily reach out to 'give a little bit' of time and/or financial resources to help those in need.

Numerous accounting and law firms, public and private companies, educational institutions, state societies of CPAs, bar associations, and other professional associations, encourage their employees and members to do volunteer work for the community throughout the year and especially during the holiday season.

We note below a voluntary initiative by FEI staff, along with a couple of other examples. Although you - our blog readers - tend to be the strong but 'silent type,' we invite you to post a comment noting what your organization is doing to encourage employee voluntarism of the financial kind or in-kind variety (e.g. pro bono work). You don't have to be highly specific if you need to maintain confidentiality, but we are looking to provide a forum to share ideas. Or, if you prefer, email me a brief blurb about what your firm/organization is doing, for consideration in a follow-up post.

FEI "Dress Down For A Good Cause"

Rudy Katzenberger, Manager, Accounting at FEI, and chair of FEI's Staff Activities Committee, explained that the idea for "Dress Down for a Good Cause" came as a follow-on to last year's voluntary clothing collection for the Market Street Mission, whose motto is 'meals, shelter, hope.'

"Having moved our office back to our Morristown Roots, we wanted to give something back to the community as a voluntary staff initiative," he said. "It also provides a 'bonding experience' for our staff to join together for a good cause, to help those in need."

"Dress Down for a Good Cause" invites FEI staff members to make voluntary donations of $5 a week from Thanksgiving through the end of the year, and for each week a donation is made, that staff member may 'dress down' (e.g. wear jeans to the office) on a particular day of the workweek.

Additional information about FEI can be found at , and additional information about the Market Street Mission can be found at .

Robert Half International Supports Boys and Girls Clubs
Joel Dibble, Public Relations Director, Financial Staffing Brands, Robert Half International, shared with us:

Robert Half International offices across the country are hosting holiday toy drives to benefit Boys & Girls Clubs and other nonprofit organizations. Please visit the Robert Half Facebook page for the list of participating offices. If you would like to donate a new unwrapped toy, please bring it to your local Robert Half International branch, or call the local contact to arrange a toy pick-up by an RHI representative

Eastern Michigan University - Academic Service Learning
Prof. Zafar Khan of Eastern Michigan University shared with us that in addition to promotining active faculty and staff participation in their local United Way program, EMU has a unique program called Academic Service Learning, described in brief as "a teaching methodology that utilizes community service as a means of helping students gain a deeper understanding of course objectives, acquire new knowledge, and engage in civic activity."

Happy Holidays to all of our readers. If you received this blog post from a 'friend' and would like to receive our blog by email, please send an email to and write in the Subject line: Sign Up.

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