Businesses Make Good With Charitable Donations & Giving Programs
San Francisco, CA — September 20, 2004
As budgetary belt-tightening continues to impact California schools, many companies are finding ways to pitch in. Esurance, a direct-to-consumer personal auto insurance company, recently donated 18 of its computers to Donald D. Lum Elementary School, a K–5 school in the Alameda Unified School District. Esurance plans to donate more throughout the year.
According to Lum Elementary School Principal Jim Manheimer, "Esurance's donated computers enabled us to upgrade our computer lab. The donated computers will be used for a variety of educational purposes. Students will use the computers to do such things as researching on the Internet, writing reports, preparing presentations, performing remediation work, learning keyboard skills, and working with various other software applications."
Gary Tolman, Esurance president and CEO, commented, "We're pleased that our equipment will have a new life at Lum Elementary. Computer proficiency is a vital skill for today's students. To ensure success in all of their future endeavors, students really need to have access to technology so that they can get comfortable with it at an early age."
Employees in any company can help their communities by keeping on the lookout for items their schools or other social institutions may need. Esurance found out about Lum Elementary's need because of an alert mom who also happened to be an Esurance associate. The associate knew her daughter's school was in need of new hardware, and heard that Esurance was replacing some of its workstations. In just a few short weeks, Lum Elementary students had new computers.
In addition to such donations, Esurance supports charitable giving through its 3-year-old Matching Gift program. Esurance matches up to $1,000 per associate, per calendar year, for an employee's donation to local elementary schools, institutes of higher education, and eligible charities. Tolman explained, "We have offices in San Francisco, Sioux Falls, and Tampa, along with offices near Sacramento and Dallas. Each of these communities provides so much to our rapidly growing business — talented people, efficient transportation, educational opportunities, and much more. We feel strongly about giving back to the communities that do so much to support us."
Thus far, Esurance has distributed over $33,000 in charitable matching funds. Tolman added, "As our company grows, I hope we can expand this amount even more. Supporting charitable donations should always be an important part of corporate responsibility, but it's particularly important given today's tough times for state governments."
To maximize their own charitable donations, individuals working at any company should check whether their firm offers matching funds or has other charitable support programs in place. Tolman stated, "Often, programs exist and employees just aren't aware of them. Or, companies would like to put a program in place but aren't sure how to proceed and need employee input to get started."