The security industry gives back
YARMOUTH, Maine—Systems integration firm SSI founded Allegiant Giving to aid veterans and residential security company Alliance Security donates systems to domestic abuse victims. SSI and Alliance are not alone in their charitable efforts—Security Systems News’ latest News Poll shows 89 percent of responding companies involve themselves in charities.
Per Mar Security Services, as one example, has a structured model for donating. “We have an employee-funded charity program, which the company matches, dollar for dollar,” wrote Marissa Parr, Per Mar executive assistant. “There is a small committee made up of employees that reviews requests each month and determines where funds will be allocated.”
Of the 89 percent of security companies involved in charities, 58 percent said their corporation donates to a designated charity and 31 percent have a company-wide giving program.
Some companies are involved in several charities. “We are engaged in a number of programs within the community,” wrote Jim Callahan, president of Ackerman Security. He cited the company’s involvement with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, WSB Care-A-Thon, American Heart Association/GO RED for WOMEN, and Habitat for Humanity.
“We have been involved in over 20 home builds in the last seven years [with Habitat for Humanity],” said Callahan.
Guardian Protection Services supports three charitable organizations: NHS/Allegheny Valley School since 1997, Jubilee Association food bank since 2006 and Variety, the Children's Charity since 2008, said Mary Lynn Moriarity, communications manager for Guardian. “The support of these three organizations engages our employees and incorporates gift-giving, food donation and fund-raising.”
Atlanta-based LOUD Security Systems “is heavily involved in our community and local charities. The company and employees support both financially and through volunteerism. The largest one organization is the YWCA Women's Battered Shelter,” said John Loud, company president.
Sixty-five percent said that charitable giving encourages employees’ company pride.
Giving back brings more customers to security companies, according to 14 percent of respondents.
Twenty-one percent said that volunteering or donations don’t impact their company.
AvantGuard focuses its efforts on giving back to employees. “We created our own 501(c)3 charitable organization called AG Cares Foundation. We provide assistance to our own team members and their families through our charitable foundation,” wrote Josh Garner, CEO at AvantGuard Monitoring Centers.
“In addition, every year we host and sponsor a charitable 5k race in each of the two communities where we have offices. Through the race we raise money for a child who is battling a chronic illness in that community,” Garner said.
When choosing foundations, some respondents said their company looks to causes close to their employees. “There are so many requests from charities and it keeps growing. We try to support the important charity causes of our employees,” said one reader.
Seventy-three percent of respondents said that employees give or volunteer on their own time. “We are just beginning to associate ourselves with a non-profit organization. Most volunteer work is individual based on their own time,” said one respondent.
Across all of these efforts, only 4 percent said that volunteering is required at their company. Twenty-three percent responded that employees receive benefits for volunteering, such as additional time off.
“We provide several opportunities to our employees to participate in charitable community functions during and after normal work hours. We have incorporated this into our Wellness Team, which also has a small financial reward for meeting quarterly wellness goals for body, community and mind,” said Greg Walborn, senior applications specialist at Berkshire Systems Group.
Jason Brinton, owner of Brinton Electric Security Services, said his company donates to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital and employees are also involved in other charities.