I was urgently needed to attend a meeting downstairs.  Something seemed odd—I didn't remember planning a meeting—but I went with it.

Seconds after I arrived downstairs, 10 people dressed in capes came marching into our office banging drums.  One of them stood on a desk and unrolled a long scroll and read the message from Rick Shadyac, the CEO of ALSAC (the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital). We had surpassed $1 million dollars raised for the children of St. Jude. 

Our relationship with St. Jude has grown steadily over the last few years, as we've made visits to the hospital in Memphis and have built in partnerships to the research hospital from our various events. Our latest partnership with our Warrior Dash brand exploded in 2012, and we're on pace to raise several million dollars this year alone through the St. Jude Heroes, Music Gives, and St. Jude Warriors programs. 

Why, you ask? Because not only is it good business, but it's also the right thing to do. And it just feels good.

Red Frog Events embraces giving back so much so that it's one of our 10 beliefs: We have big hearts and give back. It’s a part of who we are, and St. Jude is really just the beginning. 

We've also given back to our local Chicago community in a big way.  We sponsored a heart for the Hearts A Bluhm campaign on Michigan Avenue in Chicago to help spread awareness for cardiovascular disease, regularly serve meals at a local soup kitchen (my personal favorite), sort food at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and are involved with SPARK Chicago by mentoring middle school students.

That's just the start.  

There are plenty of reasons your business should give back by either building in a social mission to your business—or simply imploring your employees to choose causes and volunteer. Here's why:

  1. It feels good. Giving back reminds you of how lucky you are.
  2. Relationship building. Through our community involvement we’ve developed quality relationships that have helped us in other ways.
  3. Recruitment. People look to work for companies that care.
  4. Giving back makes jobs more engaging and engaged employees are more productive employees.

For us at Red Frog Events, it all seems to come really naturally. That might be because we only hire people who are nice to the core.  As it turns out, those people feel compelled to give back. It also happens to make me proud to be surrounded by some of the nicest, brightest people in the world every day!

Cheers to $1 million and counting.