The Guide to Brighton Jones Philanthropy & Compassion in Action
Compassion in Action is Brighton Jones’ way of promoting social and environmental progress.
In fact, compassion is one of six pillars at Brighton Jones, and through our Mindfulness-based Emotional and Social Intelligence initiative, it is a skill we practice and exercise as a team.
We define compassion as the awareness of another’s distress coupled with a desire to alleviate it. Compassion starts with empathy. From there, it inspires us to act to help ourselves or others, and build relationships from a place of genuine concern for their wellbeing. Compassion in Action is the myriad initiatives to inspire, encourage, and enable colleagues to act on that compassion.
Another pillar at Brighton Jones is Continuous Growth. We acknowledge that we’ll never be finished growing and improving ourselves or our company. We have learned how we want to show up for our global community, and with this article we hope to inspire discussion that will lead to more growth. This article details some of the ways Brighton Jones focuses giving programs on the communities where we live and work, as well as our global community.
Relationships Built on Mutual Trust
Our team members know the organizations that we support – either because they’re the ones who initiated the relationship or because we internally promote and champion their work. We strive to create relationships that promote openness and candor while prioritizing the needs of the community over our own interests.
We know that nonprofits need to invest in their people, tools, and technology – items traditionally labeled as “overhead” – to successfully fulfill their mission. We invest in their work and demonstrate our trust by relying on the organization to determine the best way to allocate resources.
Listen First, Act Second
We’ve spent a lot of time in conversation with staff and leadership of nonprofit organizations, and what we’ve learned is that we need to continue listening and following their input and insights around what makes an equitable partnership. All the initiatives we have in place are shaped by ongoing dialogue, and we’re willing to continue refining them as often as necessary.
Rather than having a top-down cause or sector that we invest resources in, Brighton Jones’ giving is designed to reflect the causes our colleagues have material involvement and interest in. Any team member can request a philanthropic gift, match their donations of dollars or time, or coordinate a team volunteer activity. By ensuring that our team members have a voice, we gain exposure to grassroots organizations and our team is more engaged in Compassion in Action.
Unlimited Volunteer Time Off
Our team members want to invest their time and talent to promote social and environmental causes. Because this work often needs to happen during business hours, we offer unlimited time off for volunteer work to all our team members. This helps our colleagues build sustainable relationships within the community and be accountable to the organizations they serve.
Respect the Time of Community Leaders and Staff
Corporate volunteerism has become a burden for many nonprofit organizations as priorities drifted from community impact to corporate team building. We acknowledge that our desire to do good as a team is less important than what we’re doing and how we’re showing up. Nonprofit organizations are not always equipped to handle large groups, nor is their work best served by a one-day event, especially around certain holidays. Instead, we encourage individual or small group volunteering, especially when it can be done on a recurring basis. This helps volunteers gain experience and lessens the burden placed on nonprofit staff. Furthermore, when we invite an organization to speak at an educational event, we offer a generous honorarium for their time.
Giving our Talents and Expertise
We’re committing to finding more ways to use our core skillsets to help community organizations and individuals. Through new and developing programs like Financial Wellbeing Workshops, Pro Bono Financial and Tax Advising, and Money CHOICES, all team members will be able to serve nonprofit staff, their clients, and other community members directly.
Board Member Training and Grants
A meaningful way to help a nonprofit organization with their strategy, finances, and development is by becoming a board or committee member. We offer annual training on what it means to be an impactful ally, advocate, and resource by committing to an organization for a multiple-year term. Additionally, we encourage this type of commitment by offering Board Member Grants to the organizations that team members serve with.
Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Our Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion program provides guidelines for giving time and talent with a JEDI lens. Individual team members use these guidelines, as well as our philanthropy committees to inform giving behaviors. Some of the considerations include assessing an organization to determine
- whether the leadership and board reflect the demographics and lived experiences of the community it serves,
- whether the organization promotes cooperation and partnership with others in the community, and
- an understanding of the population that the organization serves.
Our JEDI program is also a step in preparing team members for respectful interactions in the community.
Looking Forward on Compassion in Action
These Compassion in Action initiatives are a work in progress and are informed by countless conversations with organizations and community members. We have also learned a great deal from the important work of the Trust-Based Philanthropy Project, United Way of King County’s grantee listening project, the Community-Centric Fundraising movement, and many more.
Our team believes we can make a positive impact in the world by focusing our time, resources, and expertise on critical issues. We hope to create a world where everyone can live a richer life.