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Philanthropy = Return on Investment

By: Mary Sly

True Philanthropy goes far beyond writing checks. It is much bigger than that. Corporate social responsibility starts with feelings of benevolence. It is not the quantity of kindness that matters, it is the quality. At Keeley Companies we have found that by showing acts of kindness and giving back to the communities in which we serve, we create a culture of compassion focused on enriching the lives of everyone around us. This is the root of true ROI that philanthropic investments possess.

“Our CSR movement evolved organically as our people were already serving their communities. #KeeleyCares provided company support as we thought it was the right thing to do. What we didn’t expect was clear ROI for our organization.”

– Rusty Keeley, CEO of Keeley Companies

On paper, promoting the welfare of philanthropic institutions is something we don’t often see as a necessary business investment. Sure, money is going to great causes, but when factoring in the return on investment, it often seems intangible. We are proof that this isn’t true. Promoting a philanthropic culture can have a significant impact on a business’s recruiting efforts, team member retention, and relationships with partners and customers. At Keeley Companies, we have seen a notable impact on our recruitment efforts and our ability to make connections with partners, largely in part to the culture we have created with our company-wide Corporate Social Responsibility Program, #KeeleyCares.

CSR Boosts Culture and Increases Retention

At the end of the day, any business’ most lucrative and valuable investment is their people. Creating a culture of giving has an extraordinary impact on team member engagement and retention. Team members are given opportunities throughout the year to get involved and rally around the tagline: ‘Together We Make A Difference.’ By creating a culture of giving, we are sustaining a culture of excitement towards giving back. The logos of the charitable and service organizations supported by volunteer teams of Keeley’ns and their family members are displayed on a giant wall at every office location called the ‘Wall of Compassion.’ Team members are empowered to form teams that support an organization of their own personal passion, or any currently supported organization, to qualify for matching funds from the company, earn VTO (Volunteer Time Off), and even add new charities to our Wall of Compassion. #KeeleyCares efforts are guided by our people. When a team member is involved with a philanthropic organization that hits close to home, they are backed with the support of 1,800 Keeley’ns. This fosters a family-like environment which has an impressive impact on our retention and a significant ROI.

CSR Builds Meaningful Relationships

In addition to engaging our own team members, we have had countless opportunities to partner with other companies. It is truly priceless to share our love for giving back with our customers and partners while exponentially increasing the impact of our philanthropic efforts. Partnering with other companies multiplies the impact that we are able to have on our community. This also strengthens the relationships we have with our partners – exponentially increasing the return on investment.

CSR Attracts the Best of the Best

At Keeley Companies, our Keeley’ns’ commitment to giving back contributes greatly in our effort to recruit the top talent to our company and keep them as proud members of the Keeley Companies family. Offering robust programs such as Matching Funds, VTO, and the Wall of Compassion, #KeeleyCares encourages team members to give back to the community with their time, talent, and treasure. These added benefits have had a remarkable impact on our recruitment efforts. By getting out and helping in the community, we are able to distinguish ourselves as leaders within the community – increasing brand awareness and driving recruitment efforts.

“It blows me away that for the last few years, I haven’t been in a single interview that the candidate doesn’t mention #KeeleyCares as a reason they are sitting in front of me.”

– Rusty Keeley

To see the ROI of corporate social responsibility programs and the impact that #KeeleyCares is making on the communities we serve, click here.

If you want to learn how you can start your own corporate social responsibility program or partner with us to get involved in the community, reach out to our Vice President of #KeeleyCares, Mary Sly, at!


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