Generosity in Action: Six CSR Lessons from Our Clients

At Jackson Spalding, we have witnessed our clients do amazing things for the past 25 years, but we have never been prouder to support their businesses than now. During the coronavirus pandemic, our clients are giving back to their communities, front line responders and employees in unexpected ways. And while they aren’t inclined to brag, we wanted to share some of these acts of kindness, because good news is always worth sharing.

Jackson Spalding Client CSR Initiatives
  • The Atlanta Braves have joined the other 29 MLB teams in establishing a $1 million relief fund to assist stadium workers experiencing financial strain. The Braves will also donate 25,000+ prepared meals for distribution in the Metro Atlanta area by partnering with organizations like Meals on Wheels and others.
  • Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation is hosting virtual training sessions for lawyers so they can defend and protect atrisk people from losing their homes.  
  • Boys Girls Clubs of America have been providing emergency care for healthcare workers, facilitating provision of meals and  offering  online learning opportunities. 
  • Blue Refuge has been sharing mental health resources on their blog during COVID-19.  
  • The Coca-Cola Company has been manufacturing hand sanitizer and face shields. 
  • Crown & Caliber launched its Giving Time series by partnering with celebrity chef Alton Brown to auction two watches to benefit Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit helping food service workers. This effort raised over $25,000, and the second round of auctions has generated commitments over $30,000 for Giving Kitchen and MusiCares.
  • Cricket Wireless has helped students stay connected to learning and families stay connected to each other by providing free access to Khan Academy’s online learning resources and Caribu’s family video-calling services through AT&T’s Distance Learning and Family Connections Fund. 
  • Dallas Citizens Council has become resource by sharing thought leadership from business leaders in the Dallas community.  
  • Dallas Regional Chamber is hosting virtual town halls and launched a campaign featuring Emmitt Smith to help connect displaced workers with job opportunities in the area. 
  • Delta Air Lines pivoted its Flight Products arm to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers and offered free flights to medical volunteers. 
  • East Lake Foundation has set up a COVID-19 relief fund to provide financial assistance to residents within The Villages of East Lake. They also participated in #GivingTuesdayNow with support from the TOUR Championship. 
  • Google redeployed employees for skills-based volunteering,  creating materials and  resources  to support COVID-19 response efforts. 
  • Interstate Batteries has done several things to give back – from donating 6,000 pairs of gloves to a hospital to distributing hand sanitizer.  
  • King & Spalding raised funds to purchase weekly grocery store gift cards for 160 low-income families served by the Truancy Intervention Project and to donate to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. In addition, K&S lawyers are providing free 45-minute virtual legal consultations to help small business owners and nonprofits navigate the CARES Act or with business-related concerns through a Small Business Clinic hosted by the State Bar of Georgia and Lawyers for Good Government.
  • L.L.Bean is manufacturing 10,000 face masks per day using fabric from its dog bed liner and donating them to frontline medical workers in MaineThe company also retrofitted its distribution center to pack and ship 80,000 boxes of food for communities in need in partnership with Feeding America. 
  • Local Favorite Restaurant group is offering frontline workers 20% off their entire purchase. In addition, its restaurants El FelixSnuffer’s and Village Burger Bar are partnering with CASA to offer guests the opportunity to purchase meal packs for Texas families in need.  
  • Mailchimp has been extending free services to small business owners. 
  • Mattress Firm donated 10,000 pillows to healthcare workers to show its gratitude for their service.   
  • Mendocino Farms has been donating meals to local hospital workers. It is also donating a portion of sales from every takeout order to Restaurants Care and The Southern Smoke Foundation – two organizations supporting restaurant workers at a time when the industry is reeling.  
  • Publix is buying excess produce and dairy directly from farmers and donating it to Feeding America member food banks to support farmers and families. In just two weeks, they purchased 1 million pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables and more than 100,000 gallons of milk. Publix Charities also donated $2 million to Feeding America member food banks.
  • Orkin launched its Donating Blood Should Be Voluntary™ campaign to support the American Red Cross and assure consumers that they don’t have to live with mosquitoes. Through May 31, those signing up for mosquito control service with the code REDCROSS will trigger a donation of $25 to the American Red Cross, up to $100,000. Orkin employees are participating in a virtual “SleevesUp” campaign to pledge to donate blood to the American Red Cross, which is facing a shortage with the cancellation of blood drives.
  • Texas Monthly removed its paywall for the remainder of 2020 to offer premium content for free to every web visitor. Visit the website for bedtime stories, news updates and more! 
  • SCANA has donated $25,000 to the United Way of Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to provide immediate support to those most vulnerable to the economic and health-related issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, SCANA donated $2,500 to each of the following four organizations: Giving Kitchen, Atlanta Community Food Bank, The Farmer Fund, Meals on Wheels.
  • Southwire will be donating $1 million to COVID-19 impacted communities in three phases. Its donation will be divided out through the rest of the year and will provide meals, school supplies and more – beginning with a $500,000 donation to Feeding America.  
  • Thanks-Giving Foundation has launched Serving Up Gratitude, an initiative to purchase meals from local restaurants to deliver to the community’s frontline workers – supporting both healthcare employees and the restaurant industry. 
  • Westside Future Fund continues to inform and inspire with its Transform Westside Summit, bringing together more than a thousand people in a virtual format twice a month. WFF is also keeping the community abreast of important updates and resources through its Summit bulletin. 

As we reviewed this list, we were struck by how each company is uniquely positioned to help in a different way. A crisis at this scale means every company needs to pitch in. If you’re exploring how your organization can best help, here are a few perspectives and questions to think about.

What to Consider When Kicking Off a CSR Initiative
  1. Stay the Course – With so many aspects of society and business disrupted, it may feel like the ways you serve our communities must change, too. But it’s important to not abandon those you serve in normal times – they still need you. What can you continue to commit to in your typical annual giving plan this year?
  2. Pivot, Pivot, PIV-OT! – It can be stressful to pivot, but for many organizations it’s a crucial step to help meet the most dire needs. Where might your company be able to change operations, staffing or real estate to produce a vital product or meet another crucial community need at this time?
  3. Give or Raise Money – Nothing is needed more in both the public health and economic fight against COVID-19 than money. If your company is in the position to give financially, please do. If not, what are some creative ways you may be able to raise funds instead?
  4. Donate Product and Services – Inventory all the products and services at your disposal and evaluate how they could be used by those impacted by the pandemic. Where could they be given to do the most good?
  5. Offer Time and Talent – Sometimes offering brain power and wo/manpower is more valuable than financial donations. Where and how could your employees engage in skills-based volunteering or be extra hands and feet for nonprofit partners?
  6. Lend Your Voice – Communication is powerful. How can your organization lend its voice to increase awareness of community needs; inspire other companies and individuals to take action; change behaviors that threaten to spread the virus; or provide hope or happiness to our anxious society?