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Making a (Positive) Impact Inside and Outside of the Office

May 01, 2016

It’s no secret that culture speaks volumes about a company. Some companies stand for honesty, trust, accountability, respect and integrity. Others value passion, teamwork, innovation and superior customer service. At Eide Bailly, these and many other values stand at the forefront of the business. But there’s no hiding that community involvement also plays a large part.

Leaders and staff at Eide Bailly know the future depends on the actions they take today. The firm strongly believes that part of the responsibility in being a good corporate citizen lies in helping enrich surrounding communities.

Investing in a Cause

To encourage staff to lend their voluntary supportand positively impact quality of life in the community the firm grants each professional 8 hours of paid time away from the office to invest in their community each year, supporting charitable organizations and causes of their choosing.

Some staff choose to donate their time serving on professional or nonprofit boards or committees—from national groups like American Institute of CPAs and United Way to local organizations including nonprofits, churches and various benefits.

In other instances, staff take the initiative to go out on their own, volunteering for causes closest to their heart. For some, that means building homes for Habitat for Humanity or sharing career knowledge with students in Junior Achievement. And still, for others it means supporting health and medical causes that affect their family or friends personally.

In many cases, volunteering as a group is recognized as the most meaningful team-building activity staff experience throughout the year. Some groups even put in hours beyond the 8 to give back to their community.

In 2016 alone, Eide Bailly employees contributed a total of 1,894 individual volunteer hours. Group volunteer time as an office or department added up to 4,162 hours. Those numbersalong with professional and nonprofit board involvementcombined for grand total of 19,814 hours company wide. That’s approximately 825 days or 2.25 years of combined, donated time across the company… in one year.

Building a Better Community… Together

For many at Eide Bailly, it’s about more than the numbers on a spreadsheet. Volunteering creates stories and memories that are recalled for years to come.

At the home office in Fargo, N.D., staff volunteer with various organizations and causes, but the Fargo Marathon always draws willing participants each year. Volunteers donate their time to occupy water and first aid stations, cheering on runners as they make strides toward the finish line.

The corporate communications team has also established a tradition of their own. For the past eight years, the team has volunteered at the local Ronald McDonald House—where families of sick children facing long hospital stays come to stay to enjoy the comforts of home while their loved ones recuperate.

In Colorado, Eide Bailly’s four offices have united to create the Colorado Philanthropy Committee, connecting staff from Denver, Fort Collins, Grand Junction and Boulder. Working with United Way, the group schedules activities that align with the staff’s interests, including work with Children’s Hospital Colorado, American Lung Association, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Adopt-A-Family and many other organizations.

“We’ve really grown our Colorado Philanthropy Committee opportunities from collecting money to wear jeans to getting everyone involved, giving staff a chance to decide what we do to give back,” says Amy DeGeorge, administrative assistant in the Denver office.

In Sioux Falls, S.D., the office holds an Annual Community Day where the office closes and staff spends the day working on a neighborhood in the community in need of attention. For the past several years, the office has split into teams—mixing up tax, audit, partners, associates, etc.—to collaborate with Habitat for Humanity. Together they paint, weed, mow and partake in other work to spruce up the neighborhood, getting to know one another better in the process.

“We have fun, work hard and best of all form a special bond with the homeowner and family,” says Jessica Armstrong, marketing manager in Sioux Falls. “At the end of the day it’s knowing we have made a difference in the lives of others.”

Giving back for the Minneapolis office calls for a standing date each year to serve dinner at Simpson Housing—an organization providing resources to the homeless.

“Staff enjoys helping those less fortunate in our community, and the individuals receiving the meals are always very thankful and quick to express their gratitude,” says Jayme Klocker, marketing coordinator in the Minneapolis office. “In addition to the team-building that happens, while planning and executing the evening the staff gets to know one another on a personal level—outside of their work.”

Eide Bailly knows that by lending a hand in the community, they ultimately build character in each and every staff member. Not only do the thousands of hours donated make an impact, the relationships that are built are hard to replicate anywhere else. At Eide Bailly, a core component of corporate culture lies around volunteering, giving back and supporting the communities that support the firm.