In 2015, accounting firm MarksNelson took a step to reaffirm its commitment to the community: That year, it formalized its charitable program, called Marks of Kindness. In just three years, the program has had a big impact.
“What really sets MarksNelson’s award-winning Marks of Kindness program apart is that it isn’t just about fundraising but about finding innovative ways for our employees to get involved and personally do something that makes an impact,” said Mark Radetic, managing partner. “Our focus is both on those causes that are important to our staff and clients and on helping those who don’t have stable shelter.”
The program also includes long-term projects. Not surprisingly for an accounting firm, the first project was a financial one: Each employee was given $10 and challenged to turn that into more money, which could be used to buy TVs for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kansas City. The three-year goal was to earn enough to buy 80 TVs; that was surpassed a year early with a donation of 83 TVs.
MarksNelson’s Wrapped in Warmth program collects hats, scarves and gloves for the homeless that are distributed in parks and other gathering places. In 2016, 400 items were donated; in 2017, that grew to 2,070 items, which included 150 hats and scarves hand-knitted by employees.
The Marks of Kindness program has quickly become ingrained in the firm.
“Giving back has become so important to our culture that even our team-building activities are Marks of Kindness programs designed to help the community,” Radetic said. “Giving back and moving our community forward is at the core of our values.”