“A giving company creates giving employees who create a giving culture.”
The concept of companies giving back to their communities was a relatively novel idea in 1970. And yet, founder Michael Cardone Sr. understood how important it was for CARDONE to be known as a company that gives. This important lesson continues to guide us today.
The fact is that through the years, we’ve given away more than 10 percent of our net profits, either through the CARDONE Foundation or directly from the company because we believe that good business goes far beyond status and profit for a few.
CARDONE conducts business to mutually benefit our owners, employees, customers, and communities. Any profits we make are reinvested back into the company, our people, and the neighborhoods where we work and live.
Established in 1977, The CARDONE Foundation is on a mission to impact Christ’s Kingdom through the ministry of business. This focus has resulted in a steadfast commitment to financially supporting organizations that are truly making a real difference in people’s lives.
The organizations we support are not randomly chosen. Oftentimes, our employees are already volunteering with them. And it’s our practice to select specific projects that help real people.
As a result, we have awarded grants to nearly 300 schools, churches, parachurch organizations, humanitarian organizations, and groups involved in relief efforts for victims of tragedies every year. These are just a few.
Every year since first establishing our foundation, we have given 10 percent of our profits to organizations and initiatives that are working to make the world a better place. As the years and money have added up, so have the stories of lives changed.
In 2010, a devastating earthquake ravaged the tiny island nation of Haiti. Thousands were killed. Countless more were left homeless. People slept in the streets, in their cars, or in makeshift shanty towns either because their houses had been destroyed or they feared standing structures would not withstand aftershocks. The situation was heartbreaking.
At the time, CARDONE employed hundreds of people with family in Haiti. Since the disaster had made contacting loved ones by phone impossible, we decided to send a convoy, led by our Haitian chaplain, to the island nation to get in touch with family members and find a way to help them. With an escort from the U.S. Army, our chaplain was able to bring word back to 19 grief-stricken employees—a small gesture of support that we we're grateful to provide through our foundation.
Rather than insisting the Cardone family or the Foundation’s board members make every decision as to what is given to whom, we empower company leaders through our Employee Giving Program to help direct a portion of CARDONE’s annual giving.
Here’s how the program works. Every year hundreds of our leaders participate by recommending their choices of qualified 501(c)(3) charities for CARDONE Foundation grants. The Foundation responds with a letter and grant check to the charitable organizations, stating a CARDONE employee selected the organization and that we’re giving in recognition of the leader’s contribution to our business.
We believe our employees have great insight where CARDONE can make the biggest impact in our greater community.
When our employees participate in these philanthropic efforts, we’ve found they share a renewed sense of purpose for their work at CARDONE, and this has been a key component to making a true difference inside and outside of our company.