Nonprofit Spotlight: Nevada’s compassionate business community |

Nonprofit Spotlight: Nevada’s compassionate business community

The Community Foundation of Western Nevada sponsors this content

Chris Askin
Photo: Marcello Rostagni

Everywhere we look, except perhaps on the news, we see evidence of a compassionate community. In addition to the people who go out of their way to meet the physical, mental, or emotional needs of our neighbors, we see a rise of compassionate capitalism.

Compassionate capitalism is a rethinking that combines the bottom line with helping advance our health and education, protecting the environment and helping to enrich minds. It is a system of providing opportunities to help others be able to help themselves.

Compassionate capitalism is one of those terms that means different things to different people, so let’s turn the spotlight on northern Nevada and see what it means locally. The Community Foundation is itself a compassionate corporation. As with all business, we have a bottom line.

We need to balance our budget, think critically and use financials as management tools, and provide strong returns, both financial and service oriented, to our customers. Other local corporations have been formed as B-Corporations. Like the Community Foundation, a B-Corporation channels its business as a force for good.

In addition to the financial bottom line, their mission is to provide measurable improvements to the lives of people. B-Corporations are also non-profit companies, but they are not classified as charitable nonprofits. Our region also hosts corporations such as the Community Housing Land Trust recently formed by the Community Foundation. The Community Housing Land Trust has a specific operating mission and is sophisticated in terms of financial and investment work.

Corporations such as these are just a small fraction of the businesses in our region. To bring about trans-formative change and to build a platform for better quality of life, it is the engagement of for-profit corporations that will provide the resources, expertise and political will to accomplish great things.

The Community Foundation has partnered with almost two dozen corporations, and the impact is evident. Partnerships to build housing and extending the Caregiver Support Initiative into the workplace with the Caregiver Employee Toolkit, are just two examples. The Corporate Philanthropy Partners lend their talents, treasure, and compassion.

They lead through collaboration. The Community Foundation receives their direct support, as well contributions through Employee Giving at Raley’s, through scholarships by NV Energy and Atlantis Resort and Spa, and by seminars on charitable gifts of real estate sponsored by Dickson Realty, Chase International, Schwab Bank, and Wells Fargo. Barrick Gold is supporting the expansion of the Community Foundation of Elko County, KNPB promotes Corporate Philanthropy in Nevada, and EDAWN has jumped in to help with our housing work.

Compassionate capitalism is embodied by the Corporate Philanthropy Partners, some of whom are household names and others you haven’t heard much about. We share common values. We are focused on our community, and you. We are customers, users, employees, family members, and neighbors.

Is there such a sharp line between business and living? I think not. I am a big fan, and supporter, of companies who have embraced compassion in addition to profits as part of their mission. The dividend of improving people’s lives is a payout that I can support and do. Please join me in applauding the Community Foundation Corporate Philanthropy Partners, and in recognizing them as exemplary corporate citizens, and collaborators building a strong community.

This article was written by Chris Askin, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, which sponsors this content.