Generations of Generosity: Association of Fundraising Professionals Arkansas Chapter Honorees
By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves
Many organizations in Arkansas benefit from the benevolence of BHP Billiton, a multinational mining, metals and petroleum company. The corporation supports organizations that are industry leaders and who provide transformative programs and services to people in their communities. The American Heart Association, American Red Cross, CARTI, White County Office of Emergency Management and the Faulkner County Council on Aging, Inc. are precisely the kinds of organizations BHP Billiton targets for its philanthropic endeavors. BHP Billiton is being honored as Outstanding Corporation for its generosity to these organizations and more.
Chris Barnesby, general manager Shale Dry Gas, shares the company’s civic responsibility philosophy.
With a commitment to strengthen communities that host the corporation’s operations, BHP Billiton provides local philanthropic support and investments. “We believe that in addition to operating a responsible and ethical company, it is important to support issues and needs that local communities identify as important. In 2001, the company developed a public target to invest 1 percent of pre-tax profits over a three year rolling average in community activity.”
Encouraging employees to give back, the company has an employee base that is historically forthcoming with charitable efforts. “We have multiple employee-driven initiatives partnering with local organizations across our petroleum business donating time, money or both. We also have a matched giving program, so for every $1 donated by an employee, the company will donate $2.”
Selecting organizations to support is derived from socio-economic research and the needs identified within the company’s investment framework. “Once we understand the priorities and needs for particular communities, we actively seek to engage and partner with local organizations and service providers that can develop and deliver quality programs that aim to have a long-lasting, positive impact on people’s quality of life.”
The company operates in accordance to its charter, the means by which it communicates who they are, what they do and what they represent as an organization. “The charter includes sustainability, putting health, safety and environment first; integrity – doing what is right and doing what we say we will do; respect – embracing openness, trust, teamwork, diversity and relationships; performance – achieving superior business results by stretching our capabilities; simplicity – focusing our efforts on the things that matter most; and accountability – defining and accepting responsibility and delivering on our commitments.”
Sharing its resources and making meaningful contributions that create measurable benefits for people in the community is the most rewarding aspect for BHP Billiton. “We want to make sure that our dollars are used wisely, support community needs and create lasting benefit. By supporting positive causes and organizations, we know that the community will benefit from our investment, that local organizations are strengthened and that we are truly giving back to the communities that host us. It is this considered and strategic approach that makes me feel good about our community investment choices and proud to work for a company like BHP Billiton.”