Category: Corporate Citizenship

Community service = corporate integrity

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C2C Final GroupHow do you assess the integrity of the people and company for which you work?

While being oriented to my new role in the corporate marketing department at Boston Financial, a colleague said to me, “One of the tools I use to assess the integrity of a team member is by the direction of their moral compass. If they express love for their family, give back to their community and do what they say they are going to do, then I know I can trust them to do the right thing at work.”

This conversation happened on day nine of my employment with Boston Financial, the same day I was asked to round out the team of staffers heading to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory the following day.

I love that I can volunteer eight hours each year as part of my work with Boston Financial. The company has relationships with myriad charities in the communities where their offices are located, and make volunteer experiences conveniently available through these charities. Or I can use my volunteer hours to support any local charity that feels near and dear to my heart.

Volunteering through the office indulges my natural inclination to serve my community, while also fulfilling my need to work.

More importantly, it helps me understand the moral compass of the business. One of Boston Financial’s corporate goals is to “make a positive difference in our communities.” Lots of companies say that. They kind of have to in today’s business climate. But, in my experience on the nonprofit management end of the spectrum, this “positive difference” often winds up being enacted in a once a year “forced fun” volunteer event, or comes in the form of “sponsorship” of community events or charities that are really advertising or business networking activities masquerading as philanthropy.

As my colleagues and I sorted donated clothes at the triage station at Cradles to Crayons – checking for tears, stains and cultural appropriateness – I realized that Boston Financial’s moral compass is strong.

Cradles to Crayons used to be five miles from our Crown Colony office just outside of Boston. But, as they grew they needed to move to a location with more space. Unfortunately, their new warehouse is now nearly an hour from the office, instead of 10 minutes. In spite of this loss of convenience, Boston Financial remains committed to giving the national nonprofit volunteer hours. That’s integrity.

The day I volunteered, there were 12 Boston Financial Associates on site, along with corporate teams from Dunkin’ Brands and Tufts Health Plans. Our team included a wide range of staff – from senior leaders like retired Chief Compliance Officer, Joan Dowd and Chief Administrative Officer, Lynda Kaplan to compliance analysts, TA support staff and people like me, a brand new corporate marketing specialist. Working across the organization together towards the common good? That’s integrity.

Making the decision come to Boston Financial after nearly 20 years in government and nonprofit service was not an easy one for me. But learning, after only two weeks on the job, that the business gives more than lip service to community involvement? This helps me know that I’m working for a company with a strong moral compass. I feel confident that, while I no longer work for a public charity, Boston Financial does the right thing by their communities, their associates, and their clients. That’s integrity.

Gretchen Kinder

Gretchen Kinder

Gretchen Kinder works for Boston Financial's Sales Support and Corporate Marketing team where she works on sales support and strategy documents. Gretchen joined Boston Financial in 2014 after nearly two decades of professional experience in Boston’s nonprofit and municipal sectors. A Jane-of-all-trades, Gretchen earned her MSW/MPH from Boston University in 1997 and has held positions as a community organizer, program manager, fundraiser, event planner, strategic planning consultant, adult educator, philanthropic community manager, public information officer and grant writer/manager. She has worked in the fields of chronic disease management, community service learning, health professions education, philanthropic planning and wealth management, urban planning, public and community health, PK-12 public education, early literacy, mental health and dental insurance.

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