The month of December I have dedicated my blog to highlighting the people, companies and organizations that make up the entrepreneurial spirit that makes Austin great. While entrepreneurs create amazing companies which bring the world new technologies, products and services (and jobs!), they also impact our society.
No organization better exemplifies this spirit than The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas. This organization is the catalyst that allows busy Austin entrepreneurs, and their companies, to easily impact the local community for the greater good.
The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas is a community. They amplify the philanthropic efforts of their member companies, entrepreneurs, boards and employees who invest equity, time and talent to make Central Texas an even better place to live, work and play.
Their programs help build successful corporate cultures and allow start-up companies to participate philanthropically, even though charitable funds may be scarce. The ongoing programs that facilitate the ability to donate time and stock that have a material impact is a priceless gift for both the companies and the community.
The EF offers the structure for early stage companies to allocate inexpensive private equity to a donor advised fund, creating a source of cash for corporate community investments that doesn't impact future company earnings or operating cash.
Successful entrepreneurs know that community involvement contributes to successful corporate cultures, helping attract and retain the best team members. The EF facilitates special initiatives and help design community involvement programs which can provide valuable team building experiences. I know first hand, as the company I work for, vcfo, is a regular participant in the EF's Spring and Fall Service Days, where our staff works with the employees of dozens of other local companies in a combined effort to help improve the facilities of several local elementary schools.
The Entrepreneurs Foundation’s current portfolio contains equity from over 130 active companies. Employees and their friends have donated over 16,000 volunteer hours and through the organization’s leadership projects, they have made a real difference for hurricane evacuees, women with breast cancer and their families, affordable housing and education.
At the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas, member companies challenge the conventional wisdom that corporate philanthropy and community involvement is the province of large corporations. Increasingly, companies of all sizes are realizing that “giving back to the community is good business”. The benefits of corporate citizenship can far exceed any costs and are realized in terms of employee morale, recruiting and retention, and in the strengthening a company’s brand or reputation.
The local entrepreneurs and their companies who support the causes of the Entrepreneurs Foundation are making a difference for the Austin of today and the Austin of tomorrow.
Have A Great Day.