Within the dynamic world of business culture, the idea of philanthropy has transformed beyond the conventional ideas of charitable giving. One unique shape the spirit of corporate philanthropy has taken on is in the form of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) companies. These kinds of organizations grant their employees a stake in the ownership of the company and often exemplify a commitment to shared success and community impact.
Tata & Howard is proud to say that we have been 100% employee-owned since 2014.
Philanthropy: A Pillar in the ESOP Foundation
A profound way in which ESOPs embody philanthropy is through the empowerment of their team members. By granting employees ownership stakes and allowing them a seat at the table, these companies provide a direct link between individual effort and collective success. For employees, having a sense of ownership can inspire a strong work ethic and a shared commitment to the company’s success, ultimately resulting in increased productivity and innovation (not to mention high retention rates and overall morale!).
Even more, the philanthropic spirit within ESOPs often extends far beyond the workplace and into the broader community. As employees witness the positive impact of their collective efforts, a culture of giving back often emerges, with many ESOP companies actively engaging in community service, charitable initiatives, and support for local causes. The idea of shared ownership naturally paves the way to a shared responsibility for the well-being of the community at large, embodying a model of corporate philanthropy that goes beyond just monetary donations.
Philanthropy: The T&H Way
At the heart of T&H lies a profound belief that resonates with the very essence of ESOP companies: the unwavering conviction that every individual should have the right to access clean drinking water.
In the water and wastewater industry, the impact on the environment and public health is profound. ESOPs, like T&H, recognize this impact and actively engage in initiatives that prioritize ethical considerations, environmental sustainability, and community well-being, with these actions often reverberating far beyond profit margins.
Water for People
One of T&H’s favorite charities is Water for People.
Water for People’s mission is as straightforward as their name: to provide everyone with sustainable, clean drinking water. With this partnership, T&H staff members have the ability to donate straight from their paychecks, with the company matching 100% of each dollar donated. As a water engineering firm, we know firsthand the hardships disadvantaged communities experience due to a lack of clean drinking water. As it stands today, there are approximately two billion people worldwide who do not have that necessary access.
Through their efforts, Water for People ensures that donated funds reach families, clinics, and schools alike, bridging access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services for those living in Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Tanzania, and India. In 2022 alone, Water for People and their supporters have successfully brought improved water sources to over 220,000 people across over 500 different communities.
Every holiday season, T&H partners with HopeWell Services, an organization that provides disadvantaged children with gifts along with so much more. Each T&H team member has the opportunity to select an ornament from a giving tree that holds a child’s holiday wish list. The team member then shops accordingly, and then all gifts are delivered to the children.
Both T&H and HopeWell recognize the transformative power of collective action and shared prosperity, with the goal of bringing everyone the right to access clean water and joy during the holiday season. Together, our combined initiatives highlight the profound impact that can be achieved when organizations, irrespective of their nature, come together with a shared vision of making a positive difference in the lives of their local community.
Worcester County Food Bank
As an ESOP, T&H is deeply committed to shared ownership and responsibility, even mirroring the ethos of the Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) in addressing critical needs. Each Thanksgiving, T&H drives a collaborative, company-wide initiative to donate to the WCFB, one of only three Feeding America member food banks in the entire state of Massachusetts. In fact, in 2018 alone, the WCFB was able to distribute nearly 6.1 million pounds of food to approximately 75,000 people throughout the county.
October was ESOP Month, a month dedicated to recognizing their significance in the corporate world, their role in fostering innovative corporate philanthropic efforts, and the people who make these kinds of companies sustainable. As part of the month-long celebration, T&H initiated a month-long food drive for the WCFB — and as always, employee-owners stepped up to the plate in a big way.
As steadfast advocates for sustainable water practices, we recognize the transformative power of shared ownership embedded in the ESOP model. This kind of unique approach to corporate structure cultivates a sense of collective responsibility among employees who are not merely contributors but beneficial owners. Through our alignment with the principles of ESOPs, we contribute to a narrative of shared responsibility, where the right to clean water and other basic human rights is not just a belief but a collective endeavor that transcends the boundaries of business to foster a resilient and caring community and create a lasting, positive impact.