I believe I am a very lucky person. I am lucky because my parents taught me to value education and hard work. I am lucky because I have experienced changing peoples lives and have learned that is much more valuable than money. I am also lucky because I have made enough money as an adult to ponder these things and I know that being without is a full time endeavor that is hard to overcome. This is true whether we are talking about money or happiness or both.
I am also very lucky because I have created a company full of very special people who trust each other and do some pretty remarkable things for each other and for the companies we are lucky enough to have trust us.
I was fortunate enough to be invited by my lifelong friend, Jim Berryhill, to Dreamforce 2011. I thought I was going to learn about the evolution of the computer industry from some folks that had a dream of connected computing dating back to the early 1980’s. Their dream is what has become known as Cloud computing.
I did learn about that but I learned something much more valuable from the CEO of Saleforce.com. What I learned is the idea of committed corporate philanthropy. The idea is simple – publically declare how much of your company’s profit will be given to good causes and let your employees participate.
It inspired GPS to do a similar thing in our company.
Our idea is simple -‐
We give 1% of our profits to the Kyle John Foundation that will benefit kids with debilitating heart conditions such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, the terrible condition that suddenly takes hundreds of kids lives every year, including Kyle John Rymiszewski, the son of GPS founders.
We give another 1% of our profits to worthwhile endeavors as chosen by GPS employees.
And, we give 1% of our billable hours back to non-profit organizations in the form of sustainable productivity improvements to better utilize the sparse funds most organizations work so hard to acquire.
And in the sense of full disclosure, the leadership of Salesforce.com inspires us. Read more at http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/sharethemodel
With the help of my friends Chris Carlson, Rob Brogle, and Shawn Alexander we further decided to reserve half of the charitable giving for disasters if they occurred and otherwise give the money at year-end.
Considering the losses suffered by those who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, we are taking this opportunity to use these reserved funds. Several employees and contractors of GPS were in the direct line of the storm and are fortunately just fine, but several in their communities are not.
Read more about our Integrated Giving Back at http://www.globalproductivitysolutions.com/giving-back/
Read more about the Kyle John Foundation at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kyle-John-Rymiszewski-Foundation/127018130705927
And if you are in a position to help, please consider helping our friends on the east coast at www.redcross.org/templates/render/render.jsp?pageId=11400031