2022 Charitable Champion
Location: McLean, VA
Primary Broker-Dealer: Advisor Group – Royal Alliance
Top Executive: Stephan Q. Cassaday, Founder, Chairman & CEO
- $6,400 amount matched/employee/year
- $154,311 in total cash contributions
- Offered 5 programs and participated in an additional 10 philanthropic events
How does your firm make decisions about what philanthropic programs to offer, events to participate in, and funds to donate?
Our Funds’ Mission Statement is to “support individuals and organizations with the goal of creating opportunities that otherwise would not exist by providing basic necessities like food, water, medical care, refuge, shelter, sanctuary, education and training.”
The Fund is actively invested in, and grants are made to various organizations as determined by the Trustees (current charities are listed below). We have long-standing relationships with leaders of these organizations, and an open-door policy that encourages them to reach out whenever they need our help. While we make continuous monetary donations throughout the year, we also support these organizations in other ways, such as assisting PRS, Inc. with their annual Imagine Hope (formerly Springtopia Event) — including the included video produced by the Cassaday team– as well as volunteering days spent at S.O.M.E in DC serving lunch (although this year, the pandemic prevented on-site volunteering at S.O.M.E., so we participated in a food drive instead). It is powerful to experience first-hand the positive impact these organizations have in our community.
List of the current charities:
- SOME: So Others Might Eat;
- Central Union Mission
- PRS, Inc
- PathForward Arlington (formerly A-SPAN)
- Boulder Crest Foundation
How do you motivate your employees to participate in the firm’s philanthropic programs?
One of the core values embodied by each of our employees is collaboration. From this notion of collaboration, each Cassaday & Company employee understands that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and that together we can make a much larger impact as a group than we ever could alone. We understand that that we are extremely fortunate, and because of this, we have a civic responsibility to give to those less fortunate than us. These philosophies guide the everyday actions of our employees to always do what’s right and have cultivated a culture that drives the success of our philanthropic programs. Our firm is lucky in that every employee at Cassaday is self-motivated and “invested in improving lives,” whether through time and or money, and we believe that makes our company great. We don’t have to continually incentivize our employees to donate or volunteer, it’s an inherent trait that they all seem to have.
How do you define and measure the success of your overall philanthropic program?
We define and measure success by a multitude of things, including employee participation in these programs, continuing to strengthen relationships with our charitable organizations, donations raised, and more. At the end of the day, it’s really important to us that these organizations are able to carry out their mission with the least resistance possible, so anything we can do to aid them in that endeavor is a success for our team.
What sets your program apart from others?
One of the drivers behind establishing this fund was the idea that we could have a greater impact as a collective group than we could with individual charitable donations. To further this notion and add an incentive, we made it easy by allowing employees to have donations automatically deducted from their payroll, and any contribution made by an employee to this fund is personally matched 200% by Chairman and CEO Stephan Cassaday.
Each year, our employees show their commitment to our mission of giving back with near perfect 100% participation rates in both volunteer time and charitable fund contributions.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your firm’s philanthropic efforts? In what ways have you pivoted as a result?
During the pandemic, charities were hit especially hard. Because we have seen firsthand how important the work of Cassaday & Co. Charitable Fund (CCCF) organizations is to those they serve and how discontinuing their services could have disastrous consequences, we made a pledge to match gifts of up to $50,000 for each CCCF organization. We are honored to have ultimately gifted $50,000 to each organization – regardless of the amount each organization was able to raise for matching – for a grand total of $200,000 donated to local charities during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we held a donation drive at our office, collecting items each charity told us they needed, and ended up filling our entire breakroom with items for each organization!
One CCCF organization, PRS Inc., provides mental health, suicide prevention, and crisis intervention services to those in need. COVID-19 severely affected their ability to raise donations and awareness, specifically because their biggest fundraiser was an annual in-person gala. C&C helped PRS with their efforts to make their gala virtual. This assistance included guidance with planning efforts, emceeing the event, and filming/editing video testimonials of PRS Inc. clients, family members, and board members for the event.
Programs offered by Cassaday & Company:
- Clean the Highway – annual event, 5/13 and 9/30 – Cassaday dedicates at least two days to allow employees to volunteer their time to “Clean the Highway.” For almost 20 years, Cassaday & Company has been involved in Virginia’s Adopt-a-Highway program to help keep our roads and community clean. Each Spring, employees are encouraged to participate in cleaning Cassaday’s adopted one‐mile stretch of highway
- PRS Inc’s annual Imagine Hope Benefit (formerly Springtopia) – helped PRS Inc. with their efforts to make their gala virtual. Assistance included guidance with planning efforts, emceeing the event, and filming and editing video testimonials of PRS Inc. clients, family members, and board members for the event.
- Imagine Hope virtual Benefit streamed, Steve Cassaday’s video played and he helped emcee the event to raise donations
- Radford Career Closet Suit Drive, we collected suits at the office for Allison Felix to donate to Radford’s suit collection drive
- S.O.M.E. Food Drive, Due to the pandemic we were not able to do our usual food serving so we participated in a building-wide food drive instead.
- Polar Plunge Fundraising Event for the Special Olympics