In the 1970’s and 80’s businesses made giving back to society a part of their business plan. I worked for a small training company in San Francisco in 1990 and we give 15% of our profits to local charities. It was a great selling point and clients admired our commitment. Our pricing was very competitive so we had to keep our eyes on the bottom line. Our salaries where in line with industry standards so we were attracting employees as we grew. Everything was going along swimmingly and then we were merged with another company. The products and services of the two companies complimented each other, but the cultures didn’t. Giving back was banished to pay for corner offices and artwork no one understood.
Working for that small company was one of the highlights of my career because I was committed to more than making money. I was dedicated to making a difference and I did. So, when a contact of mine told me about a Chicago-based company (http://www.paylinedata.com) who uses the same “giving back” business model I was very intrigued. I talked to Jeff Shea the co-founder and CEO of Payline Data - “Our Mission is to provide cost effective high-quality business services; and, at the same time, build goodwill in local communities by donating a portion of our proceeds to deserving Non-Profit Organizations. Jeff explains that “Payline Data is a full service registered ISO in the Merchant Services Industry. They offer industry leading solutions for Merchant Accounts, Credit Card Processing, Integrated Payment Processing, and Credit Card Machines.”
Chicago is known as the “city of broad shoulders”. In Carl Sandburg’s famous poem “Chicago” describes our city:
"Hog butcher for the world,
Tool maker, stacker of wheat,
Player with railroads and the nation's freight handler;
Stormy, husky, brawling,
City of the big shoulders."
Companies and individuals in Chicago are quietly supporting charities and nonprofits and the trend is growing. We all have the opportunity to change the world for the better. World events reflect the need for us to show our compassion…together we can make enduring changes and Chicago can lead the way.