As the calendar turns from one year to the next, it’s engrained in all of us to look back at the preceding 12 months and evaluate whether we achieved our objectives or not. Simultaneously, we find ourselves setting new goals for the upcoming year, often to address the shortfalls from the prior one. Looking back at all of NCM’s corporate objectives for 2019 — none of them would have been achieved without both our amazing, committed employee-owners and clients.
One of NCM’s objectives and associated results that I am most proud of is our charitable activity. As a whole, our company is very proud of its charitable contribution to our community each year. Although it’s limited in size due to the scale of our organization, we always strive to punch above our weight when it comes to impact. The number and types of charitable activities our employee-owners participate in each year is too many to list in just one blog, but it adds up to well over 1,000 hours a year in company-sponsored charitable activities. Additionally, individual departments throughout NCM are given paid time off for team building activities. Our employee-owners often choose to give back by feeding those in need, constructing areas of learning, or simply giving yet to be adopted pets some much needed attention and love. Each year, every associate at NCM is also given a day off to dedicate to a charitable activity to ensure work doesn’t get in the way of serving our community, while allowing each associate to pursue a meaningful activity of their choosing.
Charitable Giving in Automotive
I am incredibly proud and honored to be associated with such giving colleagues, but I say all of this as we stand in the shadow of our incredible dealer-client base whose charitable activities are second to none. Surveys have shown that consistently, more than 90% of dealers participate in at least one charitable activity or more with an average annual financial contribution of $30,000. Arguably, these figures are low as some of the most significant charitable donations are done anonymously. In its most recently published survey, Ford Motor Company estimated that its dealers alone donated over $110 million and 50,000 hours to charitable causes. I challenge you to find a single dealership that doesn’t stand head-and-shoulders with the best in their communities when it comes to charitable activities. From major giving events such as buildings named after dealers to smaller events like sponsoring the local little league team or employee hardship loans, dealers and their teams set the standard in thinking and acting on behalf of others. Dealer standards and expectations have been driving NCM to be better in everything we do since 1947 — including giving back to those in need.
In that spirit, our employee-owners look forward to meeting (and hopefully exceeding) the expectations of our clients who chose to partner with an organization that serves both within and outside the business. While our traditional charitable activities will continue to support members of women and minority organizations, we also want to expand our impact and ability to punch above our weight through three new strategic giving initiatives for 2020.
NCM’s Three Initiatives for 2020
Our associates have always been encouraged to dedicate a portion of their profit sharing and holiday bonuses to charitable activities, or merely as gifts of kindness. We’re instituting an automatic payroll deduction to ease this effort and drive participation in 2020.
Our clients will be provided the opportunity to participate in a charitable activity while attending a class at the NCM Institute or while at a 20 Group meeting. Although optional, we anticipate strong and eager demand based on feedback already received.
As a benchmark-driven organization, we are always wanting to know who is on the left side of the page (or setting the standard for our non-20 Group readers). In this spirit, starting in 2020, NCM will award an associate at the end of each year with an award for serving as the example of giving back.
Starting the Year Off Right
To jumpstart the year, the NCM leadership team has already taken the charge to heart. Each leader received $100 to invest over the course of the year, and whoever has the highest account balance at the end of the year will be able to donate both their investment and their peers’ investments to the charity of their choice!
In the end, charitable giving must start somewhere and it’s the act, not the amount, that counts. Perhaps author Betty Reese (mother of actress Reese Witherspoon) said it best in stating, “If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”
From all of us at NCM Associates, thank you to our clients for inspiring us each and every day to do more. Let’s start small and think big. May 2020 be a most prosperous year for all of us, and let this prosperity allow us to do more to give back.