Corporate Giving Success Story: American Century Investments
For nearly a decade, the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation has served American Century Investments and its employees as they’ve donated their time, talent and treasure to the community. Over the years, the American Century Investments Foundation has empowered employees to make a big difference in their communities by giving back. The American Century Investments Foundation grants to nonprofit organizations in the communities where employees live and work through a matching gift program and a twice-yearly grantmaking process.
Through the Dollars for Donors program, employees’ volunteer hours and financial donations to nonprofit organizations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the American Century Investments Foundation. Each employee’s donation – up to $7,000 annually – is doubled with the matching gift program, making twice the impact. For every hour employees spend volunteering with a nonprofit, the American Century Investments Foundation donates up to $20 to the organization.
Groups of employees can come together as a team to support a cause they all care about. The American Century Investments Foundation will match financial donations and the monetary equivalent of goods like food or clothing donated to a nonprofit organization. Employees can also opt in to payroll deduction. Donations are automatically deducted from an employee's paycheck, matched, and sent directly to the nonprofit organization of the employee’s choosing.
Shannon Berry, an investment analyst on the mutual funds team at American Century Investments, uses the Dollars for Donors program to make an impact on local food systems by donating her time and money to Cultivate Kansas City, a nonprofit working to support the production of fresh, healthy food across the Kansas City metro area.
“I use the Dollars for Donors program for both time and money. I spend a lot of time volunteering at Cultivate Kansas City and at other organizations in my community,” Shannon says. “I typically make one big monetary gift and several smaller gifts throughout the year to maximize the annual match made by American Century. It’s nice that I can do the work I’m passionate about rather than my company telling me what to do or where to volunteer and donate. It shows that the organization cares about the nonprofit work that I’m passionate about.”
Vice President of Human Resources at American Century Investments, Janice Bartkowski, believes that giving every employee an opportunity to make an impact is important, regardless of their ability to give financially.
“Every employee can make an impact whether they’re giving time or money. Our Foundation’s philosophy is to give where our employees give,” Janice says. “American Century Investment’s founder, James Stowers, was a philanthropist who created an environment and opportunity for others to give. This has created a culture of caring and giving back throughout the company.”
Shannon sees firsthand how giving back impacts the atmosphere at American Century Investments.
“I know that many of my coworkers are probably giving back through financial donations or volunteering their time,” Shannon says. “It’s just embedded in our company’s culture and the rhythm of our work days. Working with nonprofits allows employees to improve skills like communication and leadership and other skills they might not be able to hone during their typical work day. Volunteering makes for better overall employees as a result. And, sometimes, I’m able to apply the skills I’ve learned in my career to my volunteering to help a nonprofit organization.”
Echoing its founder’s philosophy and passion for giving back to the community, American Century Investments, with a little help from the Community Foundation’s corporate services, has built and sustained a model of giving throughout the company.
If your organization would like to create or expand a corporate giving program, or establish a corporate foundation, visit the corporate services section of our website or contact LaVon Colhour by email or call 816.627.3400.
Authored by: Ashley Hawkins, Content Specialist