“Giving Tuesday” is kicking off the so-called “giving season” today, a day dedicated to giving back, whether it’s around the world or within the community.
For us at Gibbons, “giving” isn’t a day, something to be celebrated and embraced once a year; “giving” is deeply ingrained in our corporate culture, from sponsoring sports teams and athletes to giving high school scholarships. We believe very strongly in giving back, particularly to our community — the more money you make, the more responsibility you have on the redistribution of that wealth.
To be honest, there is rarely a day that goes by where we aren’t asked for some kind of financial support; we almost always try to find a way to help, from the big requests to the small, from the high-profile events to the little-known community scholarships.
For years, our giving was done quietly and without any formal policies or guidelines — a “seat of your pants” approach, if you will. It was done, mostly if not always, from the heart. We didn’t analyze our support to see if we could benefit from it; we simply gave when we thought we should. It was never based on a dollar amount or a percentage of our profits. If someone approached us and we thought it was a worthy cause, particularly if it was something to benefit Whistler as a whole, we rarely said “no.”
Take the World Ski and Snowboard Festival Big Air that was on the chopping block two years ago. It was a no-brainer to give $50,000 to that event and, while there’s no doubt the Longhorn, and our other establishments, reaped the rewards with busy village bars that night, that’s not really why we made that decision. Keeping the Big Air was important for the WSSF, important for Whistler. It made us, as a company, feel good about coming to the table with the investment.
Like the Gibbons Big Air, which we’ve sponsored for two years in a row now, we’re starting to put our name on things, to show people what we believe in. It makes our team feel good about working for a company that’s not solely driven by the bottom line.
Don’t misunderstand. We are focused on that bottom line; meeting and exceeding our targets, and finding success throughout our businesses is what drives us. But that success comes in many forms. And that’s the thing about giving.
While it’s no secret that we’ve seen financial returns from our “giving,” often times there’s a spiritual return too. It simply makes us feel good to help. We hope, this in turn, inspires others to come to the table too, to think about giving and sharing and helping, to think about things that make this community better.