Location: Maumee, OH
Primary Broker-Dealer: Advisor Group Royal Alliance
Top Executive: J.R. Toland, President & CEO
• 500: VTO hours offered to employees/year
• 3,484: Total # volunteer hours completed
• $140,850: total cash contributions
How does your firm make decisions about what philanthropic programs to offer, events to participate in, and funds to donate?
Our donations committee is a proactive group which meets monthly to review all requests from external organizations. We also ask our team of 155 associates to submit their own specific requests for organizations (using an internal form created) to identify such areas as funds requested, reason for request, etc., and, whether related to a specific one-time event, or an ongoing need.
The committee then reviews each request carefully through discussion and paperwork review to eventually allocate funds for countless local, regional, and national non-profit organizations across the areas we serve every year. This method has helped us track our donations throughout the year, and for several years counting.
How do you motivate your employees to participate in the firm’s philanthropic programs?
We encourage enthusiastic, ambitious individuals to apply to join our team. Because of our long history of developing motivated people from diverse work backgrounds, we also look for career-minded candidates who enjoy helping others. Savage was founded on John F. Savage’s principle to serve others, so the type of individual hired within our company embodies the type of person that John F. Savage strived to be. So before someone is employed, we want to make sure their personality, qualities, and background fits the culture that was established years ago.
As a result, we are fortunate that our employees are very generous of their time, talent and resources with all of our initiatives throughout the year. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and much of this is created through top leadership of Savage.
How do you define and measure the success of your overall philanthropic program?
Several ways. Through the lives we can impact … through the organizations we are fortunate to help … through the funds raised … however often it is through the stories and thank you notes we receive. It might be from a family that was in need, or an organization that needed some timely assistance, or perhaps from a local sports team where the monies helped them reach their goals for the season.
It really comes down to helping fill a need or solving a problem. Our grassroots approach involves getting to know charities long-term, and keeping a strong relationship for years and years. When the number of requests increases over time, we feel a great debt to the communities we serve because they feel comfortable coming to Savage and building that relationship in which both parties hope lasts a long time.
What sets your program apart from others?
It goes back to the diversity of our associates, and qualifying their level of interest in giving back during the interview stage. Therefore when we take on an initiative to, for example, fill backpacks for school children, or help a neighbor remodel a room, or round up volunteers for a bike event to raise money for a charity, it is not at all a tough sell to our associates. They willingly give their time, and beyond. This helps set the tone from the very beginning.
So as our program takes on projects, sponsors an event, or brings resources to the table, we know with confidence that there will be enthusiasm from the start. When there is strong buy-in, we know we can proceed with certainty.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your firm’s philanthropic efforts? In what ways have you pivoted as a result?
COVID-19 has heightened the awareness of the great need for organizations when budgets were heavily reduced nearly everywhere. We immediately wanted to help organizations that were effected more than most (e.g., the more vulnerable), and we did. Savage sought out programs that improved the lives of children, and for healthcare workers.
Although our golf classic was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, we still sought support from our sponsors to help raise funds for the charities that would normally benefit from the event. Very large and generous donations were still presented to three charities. That momentum and enthusiasm for the event, as well as the spirit of giving, helped us greatly for the 2021 event, as it came back as strong as ever.
Programs offered by Savage and Associates:
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man/Woman of the Year
- United Way
- Savage 5K
- Savage Foundation Golf Classic