Before every Stewardship Council meeting I either listen to, or have the lyrics to The Avett Brothers “Salvation Song” in my head. I don’t have a theme song but if I did, this would be it. Above all else it reminds me why I joined the Stewardship Council, and also why I love The Avett Brothers.

When the Stewardship Council got together for our August meeting in Richmond Hill, we had a full day ahead of us. Members came prepared to dig deep, open to discussion and debate; and hopefully to find resolution for the tasks at hand.

What does this really mean? For the IMG employees, who worked their daily grind last Friday, this was not a “day off” for the council. We attend these meetings with purpose and intent, where we are present and quite often exhausted at the end of the day. We are meeting on your behalf and on behalf of all of our stakeholders, in the sincere hopes of carving out this path of stewardship that we may all benefit from.

It’s exciting to keep reaching new and clear objectives which help to iron out our purpose. I feel more inspired, more excited and more passionate about where this council intends to go than I did when we started. You may not see what goes on behind our closed meeting doors, so these posts are just one way of getting that message out to you.

So you want some detail? Further to the last blog post, we’ve made some real headway. Our first order of business was to finalize three sentences which summarize our justification for moving forward with Stewardship. These sentences will guide the selection of charities that we choose to work with going forward, as any cause we support must help to achieve the following:

We see a world with each and every person pursuing meaningful work.

  • We break down barriers to employment.
  • We unleash technical talent for a more innovative, more prosperous world.
  • We are changing the way business is done, creating benefit for people and our planet.

We believe that our corporate giving should be an extension of what our business stands for. We want to give to areas that we are experts in and where we can have the biggest impact in partnership with our employees, clients, candidates and suppliers. That’s why we chose meaningful work as our focus.

We are now moving on to the selection process for potential partners that match these objectives, and believe me when I tell you – there are no shortage of fantastic possible partners out there. But we can’t have them all; we need to shorten our list to make our selections meaningful and impactful. We don’t want to spread ourselves too thin with too many options. This, my friends, is no small feat.

We have made our first short list, and have broken into small groups, all of whom are now feverishly researching and preparing to debate and defend them in our next and final decision-making forum. We decided that Kiva would not require debate. We unanimously agreed on continued partnership with the organization and are about to roll out a larger company-wide plan which will have far-reaching effects through our applicants, contractors, employees and anyone else we can brainstorm into the mix.

We have chosen an optimistic goal of 100% staff participation in the Kiva lending process as well as 100% membership on the IMG lending team. So the Stewardship Council will be calling every employee in the next month to make sure that they’ve signed up and we’ll even give them $25 towards their first loan!

As Tim previously pointed out, we are not a think-tank but rather a do-tank. And I take this mission to heart. I hope that you will continue to follow our progress and make contact with any of the Stewardship Council members with your feedback, questions and suggestions.

I started this post with a reference to The Avett Brothers, and feels appropriate to conclude with their words:  “We came to leave behind the world a better way”.