That's a Wrap: Our Social Impact in 2017

By Caitlin Copple Masingill / Dec 20, 2017

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Pro Bono Work, Cash Money, and Volunteering Galore

We walk the walk when it comes to leveraging business as a force for good as the state of Idaho's first public benefit corporation.

In 2017, Oliver Russell donated nearly $90,000 in pro bono services, and the company’s 12 employees spent 108 hours volunteering to build trails in the Boise Foothills, organizing the pantry at Ronald McDonald House, and picking up trash in Kathryn Albertson Park. We also passed the $2 million mark for total donations since our founding by Russ Stoddard in 1991.

“Oliver Russell is a great partner to us,” explained Ronald McDonald House Charities of Idaho’s volunteer coordinator, Micaela deLoyola-Carkin. “The consistent help and their willingness to do jobs that not all volunteers want to is much appreciated.”

“Oliver Russell is a great partner to us,” explained Ronald McDonald House's volunteer coordinator, Micaela deLoyola-Carkin.

Doing Good Is In Our DNA

“Doing good is what drives me, and it happens to also be incredibly good for business,” explained founder and president Russ Stoddard. “We are able to recruit and retain the best employees because we serve a higher purpose and are committed to making our community better. We also work with fantastic purpose-driven clients that share our values.”

Oliver Russell is one of a handful of branding agencies that’s also a benefit corporation—the legal designation best known for brands like Patagonia and Method that have enshrined sustainability into corporate bylaws. The agency became a certified B Corporation in 2011 and is one of seven public benefit corporations in Idaho. Both designations mean that the agency holds itself accountable not only to turning a profit, but also to environmental and social benchmarks.

As part of its B Corp status, Oliver Russell provides paid parental leave for up to 12 weeks for all employees, among other non-traditional benefits like teleworking and a wellness stipend.

“Our values really hit me while we were volunteering for Toys for Tots recently,” said Jay Saenz, digital manager at Oliver Russell. “I read one single mother’s application for gifts. She wrote that she didn’t have enough money to give her children a Christmas because she was on unpaid maternity leave.”

Beyond volunteering each month and pro bono work, Oliver Russell has granted nonprofits and for-profit social ventures nearly $7,000 this year.

"She didn’t have enough money to give her children a Christmas because she was on unpaid maternity leave.”​ - Jay Saenz, digital marketing manager

Leveraging International Impact with B1G1

The agency also participates in a social impact program called B1G1 that means that certain internal benchmarks, such as signing new clients, trigger international donations. This quarter alone, those donations provided:

  • 2,103 days with warm clothes for Russians in poverty
  • 318 meals for nursery school children in Ethiopia
  • 24 days of access to books for girls in Cambodia
  • 1 day of occupational training for a resident of Afghanistan
“Doing good is what drives me, and it happens to also be incredibly good for business." - Russ Stoddard, founder and president.
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Caitlin Copple Masingill

Caitlin is the quintessential connector of people and causes. She specializes in helping purpose-driven companies select the best messengers to tell powerful stories to the right audiences. Caitlin brings to Oliver Russell more than 10 years’ experience in journalism, communications, and most recently, public affairs consulting. A self-described political nerd, she served as a Missoula City Councilwoman from 2012-2015 and loves all things outdoors.