A Conversation with Ray Kowalik of Burns & McDonnell: Four Ways to Support Corporate Giving

breiby@growyourgiving.orgCorporate Charitable Giving

At a recent Corporate Giving Network event, representatives from companies around Kansas City were invited to discuss how to create a culture of giving in the workplace. Burns & McDonnell chairman and CEO Ray Kowalik and Foundation director Julee Koncak shared several tried-and-true ways to support philanthropy in the workplace.

1. Empower employee giving.
“The power of people being proud of where they work is incredible,” said Ray. “Giving back to their communities is the number one thing that gives them pride.”

Inspiring a culture of giving starts with leading by example, says Ray. The leadership team empowers employees by demonstrating a strong commitment to helping others through participation in the company’s corporate giving programs.

2. Encourage employees’ passions. 
Julee is responsible for managing Burns & McDonnell’s employee giving programs. Through a partnership with the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Burns & McDonnell offers a matching gift program to support employees’ personal passions. The company matches each employee’s donation to a nonprofit organization of their choice, up to $300 each year. Burns & McDonnell supports over 400 nonprofit organizations annually through matching gifts.

3. Create opportunities for team building.
Giving the gift of time can be just as valuable as giving financially. Julee says volunteering is a great opportunity for team outings. It enhances the family feel at Burns & McDonnell while also making a difference in the community. In 2018, Burns & McDonnell employees spent over 20,000 hours volunteering.

4. Support a unified cause.
Every spring, the Burns & McDonnell Foundation launches an annual campaign called Charity of Choice. Each location across the U.S. partners with a local nonprofit organization that supports the selected cause. This year, Burns & McDonnell supported organizations working to advance literacy.

In addition, Burns & McDonnell participates annually in the United Way campaign and is typically one of the largest corporate donors in Kansas City.

The Community Foundation can help businesses of any size create or expand a corporate giving program. Find more information online or contact LaVon Colhour, Manager of Corporate Services, by email or call 816.627.3400.

Authored by: Ellie Light, Communications Intern