Advisers Giving Back: A Nationwide Network of Giving

Under the CBIZ Cares program, employees at CBIZ’s 100 offices around the nation are encouraged to volunteer their time in their local communities.

Art by Uijung Kim

In 2016, when CBIZ was celebrating its 20th anniversary, the firm decided to give its employees the opportunity to volunteer in their local communities for up to a total of 20,000 hours. It was so successful and was met with such employee enthusiasm that CBIZ decided to make “CBIZ Cares” an ongoing program as part of its community involvement initiatives.

Today, the wealth advisory, accounting and insurance company’s 100 offices around the nation each decide what causes to volunteer for, and nationally, the firm runs a National Food Drive and Dress for Success. The National Food Drive benefits local food banks during the holiday months.

Since CBIZ launched the food drive program in 2009, employees at its offices have donated more than 5 million pounds of food. Offices participate by donating food and money and accepting contributions from clients, vendors, family and friends.

Dress for Success is a non-profit organization that provides professional attire for disadvantaged women’s job interviews. It also provides the women with career and life counseling, technology training and mentoring support. To date, CBIZ has collected more than 50,000 items of clothing for Dress for Success and donated $450,000 to the cause.

Charitable causes that local offices have selected include the Walk to Cure Diabetes, which benefits the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee; the Fight for Air Climb, which benefits the American Lung Association in Los Angeles; the Rainbow Radiothon, which benefits the Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio; the Backpack Drive, which benefits Sacred Heart Community Services in San Jose, California; and the Color Run, which benefits the Blue Ridge Autism & Achievement Center in Roanoke, Virginia.

All of these CBIZ Cares efforts are overseen by CBIZ’s corporate recognition committee, called Great Place, Great People, says Molly Magnuson, retirement plan consultant with CBIZ, based in Kansas City, Kansas. A representative from each of CBIZ’s offices sits on the committee, and the group decides which charities their local office will work with each year.

CBIZ permits its employees to volunteer up to five hours of their working time each year, she says. Each office promotes and helps to organize the charitable work, which typically gets completely booked by the firm’s 4,800 employees, Magnuson says. If every one of these employees were to volunteer, CBIZ would be allowing its employees to give 24,000 hours of the company time each year, she notes. In fact, the vast majority of CBIZ employees do volunteer.

Why has this become a national effort for CBIZ? “We want to impact our communities positively and be involved personally,” Magnuson says. “Many of our clients are nonprofits, and we give back our time to them, as well. Our goal is to have employees of all levels involved, including the executive team. CBIZ Cares is one of the company’s programs that people are most passionate about. It gives them the chance not only to give back to their communities but to enhance their own self-worth.”