Spur gives back in 2020, helping those in need during a historic year
Why we give back
The Spur Group’s Community Engagement and Service Employee resource group (ERG) empowers all employees to be active, socially responsible stewards in our local community.
As a professional services firm, we thrive on solving complex problems. We give back because our employees have both the awareness of inequalities in our community and the intrinsic desire to address them. Making a measurable difference puts our company values of Inclusion, Courage, and Respect into action and energizes our employees with meaning.
How we give back to increase nonprofit capacity
Volunteering: Encourage employees to give their time through virtual and in-person efforts to build nonprofit capacity
Monetary/Non-monetary donations: Raise funds or collect goods for nonprofits that address an issue our employees care about
Pro-bono consulting services: Use our consulting skills and expertise to help nonprofits expand or improve programming
How we adapted our approach in 2020
During the global pandemic, The Spur Group employees were lucky to shift to a full remote work structure, while many others lost their jobs or were asked to provide essential services on the front line, putting their health at risk. In this critical moment where many found themselves in urgent need of help, we had to adapt our approach to continue serving our community.
Supporting hospitality workers
In March and April, COVID-19 safety measures led to massive closures through the restaurant and hospitality industry. To help, Spur engaged with Big Table, an organization fighting to promote equality within those same industries. Between individual and firm contributions, Spur raised more than $20,000 for Big Table, who was able to provide support for 58 individuals and families who had lost their income and livelihood, ensuring they could keep their homes and address their basic needs.
Supporting social justice in the PNW
Just a few short months later, our community was roiled again by the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, bringing attention once again to the devastating effects of systematic racism in our legal institutions. Working across ERGs, including Spurvice, SprOut, and Women of Spur, our employees again showed their commitment to our community by raising almost $25,000 for Social Justice Fund Northwest, which works to identify, support, fund, and grow grassroots organizations that directly address systematic racism.
While the generosity shown by so many employees was humbling for the Spurvice team, we also created opportunities for employees to give back in non-monetary ways. With the coronavirus eliminating our ability to host in-person volunteer events, Spurvice create virtual volunteer opportunities. In July 2020, 30 employees gathered virtually to conduct crowdsourced research for Zooniverse, one of the largest, most popular, and successful citizen science projects. To help create a digital archive to preserve the history of the Holocaust, our volunteers helped transcribed hand-written prisoner identification cards from Nazi concentration camps. You too can take part in the #everynamecounts project at zooniverse.org.
Supporting those with lupus
Another critical goal for Spurvice in 2020 was creating a long-term partnership with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). This partnership became even more important as people with lupus have an increased risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms and faced reduced access to hydroxychloroquine — a common medication for lupus symptoms — due to its initial demand as a COVID-19 treatment. Throughout 2020, The Spur Group supported LFA in several ways. CEO Randy Karr helped LFA’s executive director develop and launch a regional leadership council of LFA advocates and ambassadors to provide multi-year strategic guidance and development support. Spurvice helped generate awareness through a firm-wide social media challenge, raised funds through a virtual silent auction, and showed our support by participating in the virtual Walk to End Lupus Now.
In 2020, we held our 4th Annual Silent Auction, but the first to be completely virtual. Despite being remote, we again raised more than $20,000 thanks to our incredible employees and company leadership’s matching donation, making The Spur Group the top fundraising team in the Pacific Northwest, and one of the top 10 fundraising teams nationally for the Walk to End Lupus Now.
The future can look uncertain, but our employees are dedicated to being active, socially responsible stewards in our local community. 2021 presents an opportunity to grow our relationship and commitment to our historic nonprofit partners, find new organizations to support, and as it becomes safe, find ways to give back through in-person volunteering and pro bono opportunities. We’re excited to continue finding ways to give back to those most in need.