Social Responsibility in Business: Spotlight on Our Charitable Partners

A group of people sitting and standing in rows in front of a screen that lists the number of boxes of food packed, meals and children fed at Feed My Starving Children.

We love being a force for good in both the way we work and the work we produce. We also know how crucial social responsibility in business is, so it’s been a main focus from the start. And in 2023, we cultivated partnerships with some impressive local and national charitable organizations. Here, we spotlight three of them and see the positive impact a collaboration with The Bernard Group has had on their organizations and communities… and what’s to come in 2024.

A room full of people packing food into bags and boxes for Feed My Starving Children.
A group of people wearing hairnets packing food into bags and boxes for Feed My Starving Children.

Partners Beyond Print

The Bernard Group (TBG) is an employee-owned business, so supporting our employees and local community comes with the territory. Along with our online division, Smartpress, we believe we’re hardwired to work for something bigger than ourselves (even beyond our love for putting time and energy into your online printing projects).

“It’s very important to us to be involved in the community in which we do business. Not only is it ‘business for good,’ but also gives our employees a chance to engage by participating in volunteering opportunities so they can make a positive impact,” said Liesl Beck, TBG’s director of corporate social responsibility.

And while Beck said our strategy is to “support those most in need in our community: children, teens and women,” our overall approach to social responsibility in business spans organizations across many sectors, including Trees, Water & People, Launch Ministry, Neighbors Inc., Feed My Starving Children, Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, Dress for Success and more.

“We hosted our 5th annual golf event last August, and I’m really proud of how much it’s grown,” said Beck. “TBG engaged our top suppliers to purchase sponsorships and play in the tournament. We raised over $110,000 and had a lot of fun doing it. 100% of the money raised went directly to the charities.”

Hint: Dive deeper into our social and environmental endeavors: Social Responsibility.

A two-story house with brick and white siding, dark green bushes in front of it and a sign that says Hope House by the front door.

Partner: Hope House

Social responsibility in business means putting your money (and time and effort) where your mouth is. One of the charitable partners we’re more than happy to do that with is Hope House, an emergency shelter for youth who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in the southwest Twin Cities metro. We spoke with Hope House Executive Director Rodney Provart about joining forces with TBG and Smartpress.

How has TBG impacted your organization this year?
Provart: “The generosity and support from The Bernard Group has again been a catalyst for positive change at Hope House. TBG has strengthened our programs and expanded our outreach, which translates to transformed lives. Smartpress’ support of our Border Battle baseball event not only provided valuable marketing support, but also heightened Hope House community awareness and provided a significant morale boost to our entire staff and volunteer team.

“The banners and table coverings added professionalism, legitimacy and excitement to the event for players, spectators, sponsors and event staff. Dedicated and supportive leaders at TBG and Smartpress have lent their time, energy and resources creating a sense of shared purpose and camaraderie that extends beyond golf and baseball events to helping us focus on transforming the lives of teens at Hope House.”

“It goes beyond financial support; it’s about forging a meaningful connection with a partner who shares our passion for making a positive impact in our community.”

Why is it important to have a corporate partner helping to support your nonprofit organization?
“Hope House wouldn’t exist without the generosity and support of corporate partners like TBG and Smartpress – we couldn’t do it without you! It goes beyond financial support; it’s about forging a meaningful connection with a partner who shares our passion for making a positive impact in our community.

“TBG’s commitment to corporate social responsibility aligns seamlessly with our values, creating a synergy that propels our mission forward. Their expertise in printing and marketing and their passionate commitment to supporting nonprofits in the communities in which they work has been instrumental to enhancing the Hope House brand and outreach strategy.

“This collaboration not only amplifies our impact, but also opens new avenues for youth outreach, positive teen impact and Hope House sustainability.”

How will TBG’s support help Hope House make a difference in 2024?
“In 2024, the support from TBG becomes even more crucial in realizing our goal of building a new Hope House. With your continued partnership, we envision increasing our capacity and expanding the services available so we can serve more teens and their families. TBG’s financial contributions will directly fund construction, renovation and projects that’ll make a lasting difference in the lives of those we serve.

“Our partnership with TBG is not just a collaboration – it’s a shared commitment to building a brighter future for teens. Together, we are sowing the seeds of hope and fostering a community where every teen has the opportunity to thrive. As we express our gratitude for a transformative 2023, we eagerly anticipate the continued journey in 2024.”

Two older women wearing glasses and sorting through packages of food for People Reaching Out to People.

Partner: People Reaching Out to People (PROP)

On a mission to compassionately provide food and comprehensive support to neighbors in need, People Reaching Out to People (PROP) is a natural fit for our approach to social responsibility in business. We spoke with PROP Executive Director Jenifer Loon about how teaming up with TBG and Smartpress aids in creating a path toward self-sufficiency for community members.

“While we receive some grants from philanthropic foundations, most of our financial support comes from individuals and local businesses.”

How has TBG impacted your organization this year?
Loon: “The Bernard Group has been a vital community partner to PROP for many years. This year, we were especially honored to be one of three nonprofits recognized and supported with a generous grant from your golf tournament proceeds. This financial support has made all the difference at PROP, as we strive to meet growing demand for basic food support, as well as other essential services, including emergency housing assistance.”

Why is it important to have a corporate partner helping to support your nonprofit organization?
“Each year, PROP helps over 4,000 individuals access healthy, nutritious food to ensure they have enough to eat. We strive to have a wide variety of fresh produce, dairy, meat and plant-based proteins, pantry staples, basic hygiene and household items, as well as culturally significant foods, to meet client needs and be a welcoming source of support for those experiencing financial hardship.

“The increased cost of serving more individuals and covering the expenses of our escalating food budget would not be possible without the incredible support of TBG. While we receive some grants from philanthropic foundations, most of our financial support comes from individuals and local businesses.

“TBG has simply been an outstanding corporate partner to help PROP fulfill its mission of welcoming our neighbors in need, offering food, support and community.”

How will TBG’s support help PROP make a difference in 2024?
“PROP has experienced a 35% increase in the number of food visits by clients and a 25% increase in emergency housing support provided in the past year. As we move into 2024, there doesn’t appear to be a slowing of the need for PROP’s services. Furthermore, the rising cost of food and housing impact our program budgets, as they do the budgets of individual families.

“With the help of TBG, PROP has added more food appointments to our schedule, helping to ensure shorter wait times for food visits and more families can obtain a second food visit during the month. We prevented 82 families from homelessness through our emergency housing support program last year, and short-term rent assistance continues to be a critical need.

“While some housing programs have had to shut down mid-year when funds were depleted, we have been able to keep our housing program open and accept applications because of the strong support of TBG. PROP is so very grateful for the partnership – together we’re changing lives.”

A woman holding open the door of a brick building for two people and a St. Anne's Place sign above the door.

Partner: Haven Housing

Whether we’re donating time or funds, we know the value of both to organizations like Haven Housing, a women’s homeless shelter that offers a safe environment for women to stabilize, heal and work to overcome histories of abuse, chemical dependency, homelessness and incarceration. We spoke with Haven Housing Assistant Director Emily Seddon about working together with TBG and Smartpress.

“Without support, we wouldn’t be able to shelter families and help them explore options for their future.”

How has TBG impacted your organization this year?
Seddon: “Support from The Bernard Group is critical to providing a safe haven to 16 homeless women-led families each night at St. Anne’s Place. St. Anne’s Place is in a former convent building with small rooms, so TBG helped us buy trundle beds so families can make the best use of the smaller spaces. After our recent renovation, TBG ensured each room at the shelter was a welcoming and healing space.”

Why is it important to have a corporate partner helping to support your nonprofit organization?
“There are more families experiencing homelessness now in our service area than there has been in the past decade. The county provides limited funding, but it’s not enough to shelter 16 families each night.

“TBG is Haven Housing’s largest private partner. Without [their] support at St. Anne’s Place, we wouldn’t be able to shelter families and help them explore options for their future. Our shelter guests can express the importance best: Vivian, a mom staying at St. Anne’s Place with her kids said, ‘Working on myself and my needs is creating a payoff for my kids. The changes that I’m making will break the cycle of poverty and negativity for my children.’”

How will TBG’s support help Haven Housing make a difference in 2024?
“In 2024, TBG is helping to offer therapeutic support to shelter guests and ensure that St. Anne’s Place continues to operate as a safe, welcoming and healing environment for women-led families experiencing homelessness. We’re particularly excited to start music therapy for children!”

The Ties That Bind

While we ended 2023 strong with these (and other) joint ventures, we’re looking forward to what we can do in 2024 and beyond. After all, social responsibility in business is never done. It’s ongoing and creates lasting positive change for all involved.

“In 2024, we’ll continue to support the charities we’ve built relationships with that align with our giving strategy,” said Beck. “We’re always aiming to expand our reach and build new relationships to further our impact on our community.”