Carter Ryley Thomas prides itself on its community involvement; in fact, one of our company goals is to donate 10 percent of our after-tax profits to charitable organizations in the community in service and cash contributions each year. Our long-term goal is to create a charitable foundation for worthy organizations in communities where we have a presence.
Public Service Background
In March 1996, employees bought the Richmond-based Earle Palmer Brown, named it Carter Ryley Thomas after the children of three of the agency’s principals, and have since created a workplace culture that evolves around our commitment to our employees, our clients and our community.
Four years ago, CRT employees created a vivid description for our vision of the future:
We will create a company with character and integrity like no other…We will be known for advising leading corporations who place great value in our counsel…An internal culture known for caring, openness, professional growth and personal fulfillment will be the most admired in our field…Fairness and spirituality will guide our decisions…We will say thanks by generously giving our time and money to the community…We will do all of this with confidence from what we’ve achieved so far, and the knowledge it is little compared with what we can accomplish together in the future.
This vision has been made a reality through a set of nine shared values that guide every decision (see attached). These values reflect a way of living for CRT employees and are a true representation of how CRT exercises high standards of behavior toward everyone impacted by the company – employees, clients, suppliers and the community. One of the values – give without expecting anything in return – speaks to the reason that we donate so generously to our community – in Richmond as well as across the country.
Description of Programs:
One of the most unique things about CRT is the way we give. Rather than simply donating dollars, CRT employees often donate a significant amount of time to various causes.
A. Community Service Day Across the Country
One of our most cherished days of the year is Community Service Day. This is a community outreach program where CRT expects 100 percent participation from all employees. For one full working day each December, CRT closes its offices – from Los Angeles to Norfolk, Va., to Charleston, S.C. – and the employees spend the day volunteering at various organizations in each community.
Employee volunteers in the Richmond office spent this year’s Community Service Day making Christmas cards, wrapping gifts, caroling, visiting with Santa, etc., with the following organizations:
· The Salvation Army;
· St. Joseph’s Villa, an organization that provides transitional living for women and families in need;
· Virginia Home, a facility for people with brain and spinal cord injuries;
· Southside Child Development Center, a daycare provider for low-income families;
· Stuart Circle Senior Daycare Center; and,
· Save Our Shelter’s mobile animal vehicle.
The Norfolk, Va., office spent the day helping Tidewater’s Salvation Army prepare its Toy Shop, which supports thousands of needy kids in the area.
The regional office in Roanoke, Va., spent the day at the Ronald McDonald house helping prepare meals and clean.
Employees in Charleston, S.C., made ornaments with the children at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Children’s Hospital.
Employees in the Los Angeles office spent the day at Westside Children’s Center wrapping gifts, addressing Christmas cards, and playing with the children.
B. Adopting Less-Fortunate Families
In addition to Community Service Day, CRT also adopts Christmas families. The adopted families create a “Christmas Wish List,” and CRT employees work together to make sure the children and parents get everything on the list. Employees spend a few hours one day before Christmas to deliver the presents to the homes and visit with the families.
C. Corporate Contributions
In addition to Christmas community activities, CRT supports other charitable organizations throughout the year through corporate contributions (most often in the form of significant pro-bono work). A sample of the organizations we support through cash contributions and time include:
· American Heart Association
· Better Business Bureau
· Coalition for a Greater Richmond
· Communities in Schools
· Community Health Charities, Inc.
· Hospice of Charleston
· Junior Achievement of Central Virginia
· Junior League of Richmond
· LINC (Legal Info. Network for Cancer)
· Make-A-Wish Foundation
· Massey Cancer Center
· Metropolitan Richmond Sports Backers
· Noah’s Children
· Richmond PR Foundation
· RUPES (Richmond Urban Partnership for
· Educational Success)
· Salvation Army
· September 11 Victims’ Relief Fund
· Southside Child Development Center
· The Arts Council of Richmond
· Tuckahoe Volunteer Rescue Squad
· United Way
· Westside Children’s Center
D. Getting Employees Involved
Another way CRT supports the community is by encouraging employees to be involved with community or non-profit organizations. Most of the time spent on non-profit clients stems from employees’ being active members of the organizations. CRT also gives time off (paid) from work, allowing many employees to be active members in the organizations. In all, CRT staff are members of the Board of Directors of 12-15 charitable organizations. This excludes the significant roles played many CRTers in churches, synagogues and schools.
CRT donated 14.6 percent of its after-tax profits in time and dollars to organizations in the community.