I’m proud to say I work for a company that recognizes they have a greater purpose. Sure – Global Payments is a public company and, as such, is focused on creating shareholder wealth for their investors. But that is not their only reason for being. They recognize that not everything we do needs to be self-serving. They understand the inherent need to help others and they routinely put their money where their mouth is.
As a company who has adopted the tagline “Service. Driven. Commerce,” Global Payments is committed to investments of time and financial resources in organizations that make a difference worldwide. In 2018, Global Payments employees donated nearly $130,000 to United Way agencies throughout North America. During an internal campaign in December 2018, it was announced that the goal for 2019 is $150,000. It’s not often that a company paying their employees’ salaries immediately asks for $150,000 of those salaries to be donated back to a charity supported by the company. It’s even rarer that virtually every employee agrees to support that goal...happily.
So why does essentially every Global Payments employee participate in this annual drive? The answer goes back almost a decade when Global Payments first made a commitment to making a difference both locally and globally. In 2011, after having contributed to United Way for many years, the company announced a $1 million donation to the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta.
Global Payments’ support of United Way agencies was just ramping up. David Mangum, then the President and Chief Operating Officer for Global Payments, chaired the annual Greater Atlanta United Way Campaign in 2015-2016 which was recognized as the largest annual campaign of the decade prior, raising $77.8 million. “David started this campaign on a mission to make each day a little brighter for children and individuals in Greater Atlanta,” said United Way of Greater Atlanta’s President and CEO Milton J. Little, Jr. “His success with this year’s campaign ensures the delivery of programs that are vital to a thriving community. As a result of his efforts, more babies will be born healthy, more children will read proficiently by 3rd grade, and more teens will graduate from high school prepared for college, careers, and life.”
That’s big stuff. And it transcends simply coming to work and making sure everyone’s payments go through smoothly. That’s why Global Payments employees enthusiastically support the annual United Way donation drive. We have all seen and this work in action within our own Global Payments leadership team. We’ve experienced the annual Day of Service that encourages us all to take a day off from work and serve in your local community. This is part of our culture and it’s non-negotiable. It’s part of as a company. Service. Driven. Commerce. The first word on that list is Service for a reason.
What’s the lesson in all this? What does this mean for your business? It merely serves as an example of the value of making a difference. Choosing to make a commitment to serving others is not always easy, but almost always fulfilling. It doesn’t matter who you choose to support – or how. To borrow a tagline from a rather successful shoe company – Just Do It. Your employees will notice, and they will endorse it. Structure your commitment to be ongoing and it will become part of your culture – something your employees will be proud to support.
So maybe “commitment” to serve others isn’t really the most accurate term. Perhaps it is better referred to as an “investment” to serve others.