Washington, D.C. – Tom Raffa was recognized for the creation of Companies for Causes (CforC), a new model for corporate giving aimed at moving social responsibility from good intentions to strategic impact in local communities by the Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation.
The Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation, in conjunction with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Omega Chapter, honored community “Pillars of Excellence” 2014 P.E.A.R.L.S. Awards last month. These awards recognize innovative individuals and organizations in six areas: Philanthropy, Education, Arts and Humanities, Religion, Leadership and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Tom Raffa is the Managing Partner of Raffa, P.C.
CforC was created in 2010 based on Tom Raffa’s decades of experience working with nonprofits and corporations. “Community problems are caused by community and they can be solved by community,” he has said. “How do we all work together - nonprofits, foundations, government, and business – to move the needle on important issues?”
“Tom’s founding of Companies for Causes, which gathers together CEOs of closely-held companies to bring their expertise to bear on key community issues (e.g., education at Eastern High School) is visionary in its approach,” wrote Barbara Harman, President, Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington, in a letter of support for the award. “Tom genuinely believes, and he acts on the belief, that if we make the community stronger by building its leaders, it benefits the company as a secondary effect, because a strong and healthy community is in everyone’s best interest.”
CforC provides the missing framework to help closely held-businesses play an important and tangible role in helping schools, parents, and communities improve student success. In the District of Columbia, where 5 of its 25 high schools are some of the lowest performing in the nation, 41 percent of high school students do not graduate from high school on time with a regular diploma. By building committed, interconnected networks of private-public support that work together in partnership to strategically, collaboratively, collectively and effectively to leverage resources and best practices, CforC helps improve outcomes for all students – one high school and educational feeder system at a time. As success is demonstrated, the model can be scaled one district and one region at a time. This much needed building block is essential to building educational success at a national level.
“Companies for Causes was different from other groups in that each initiative they supported was exactly aligned with our priorities at Eastern,” wrote Rachel Skerritt, Principal, Eastern Senior High School, Washington, D.C. “Our emphasis on literacy led to their sponsorship of classroom libraries for our ninth graders. Our concern regarding the lack of human capital to support our out-of-school time initiatives translated into a Coordinator of Student Life position funded by CforC as well as a director of a twilight program of over-aged, under-credited students. Tom serves as a strategist and as a cheerleader for this group of philanthropists. He serves as a critical friend to our school community and he also personally inspires me with his collaborative leadership style and vision setting.”
As the Companies for Causes model scales and expand to address multiple issues in communities across the nation, the strength of the business sector will be more effectively engaged and leveraged for societal good.
The Pearl and Ivy Educational Foundation is a 501C3 organization of college educated women. We are dedicated volunteers, committed to providing services to youth, adults and seniors throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Foundation works with donors and strategic partners to promote academic excellence and scholarly pursuits, encourage positive health practices, and enhance the professional and personal growth of those in our community.
Founded in 1984, Raffa is an accounting, consulting and technology firm based in Washington, D.C. dedicated to service and community. As a B-Corp certified, national Top 100, “Best of the Best” CPA advisory firm specializing in nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses, Raffa performs high-quality audits annually and provides support to help organizations across the country effectively and efficiently manage their most critical processes. The firm’s highly specialized professionals provide planning, consulting and compliance services to entrepreneurs, families, nonprofits and social enterprises. Offering a deep bench of expertise across an array of services, including accounting and tax, human resources, technology and consulting, Raffa’s client-centric, customized approach helps each client meet its potential and ensures each client’s success is sustained and maintained. Learn more at www.raffa.com.