Washington's Family Businesses Increase Philanthropic Efforts

Originally published on Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ). Written by Melissa Crowe, Research Director at PSBJ.

Mentoring college students, organizing a 5K run or giving away pancakes might not seem connected, but they're all part of a growing trend of companies attempting to show the world they care about more than just profit.

Family-owned companies are among those that have spearheaded the practice in Washington state. To them, the buzz around corporate citizenship and corporate social responsibility is a matter of good business.

The Puget Sound Business Journal's survey of family-owned companies showed 92 percent of respondents have some form of organized charitable activity, including implementing matching gifts, offering time off for volunteering and sharing their staff's expertise.

For Denali Advanced Integration, ranked No. 14 among the largest family-owned companies, the sense of social responsibility was ingrained in the business decades ago.

The family, which was living in Kuwait City, ended up in the Pacific Northwest during the first Gulf War. Ahmad Daher, the marketing director and a member of the founding family, said they couldn't have made it here, founded a new life and a new company without the people who helped along the way. 

Giving people an opportunity to give back or who don’t have an opportunity, a hand up — whether it’s employment or donations to charity — it’s always been a part of who we are. Ahmad Daher, Director of Marketing, Denali Advanced Integration
Denali Advanced Integration CEO and founder Majdi Daher presents a check for $75,000 paid to the order of Seattle Children's Hospital at the fourth annual Denali Dash Sept. 9, 2017.

Redmond-based Denali employs 395 in the Puget Sound region and has offices in Oregon, Texas, India, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

"What we’re seeing is people are saying regardless of the location everybody wants to work for a company where philanthropy is top of mind," Daher said. "Giving back feels good." 

Their top charitable causes support vulnerable populations such as children and senior citizens. Denali has contributed more than $4.35 million to the community with focuses on supporting Seattle Children's Hospital, Providence Health and Services and EvergreenHealth.

The company founded the Denali Dash, an annual 5K now in its fifth year, and implemented a community excellence award for its employees. The awardee chooses a charity or cause of their choice for a $1,000 donation made by Denali on their behalf.

"The value we get out of it now is seeing how we can connect the entire community together," Daher said.

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