THE GENERAL PUBLIC can be a bit suspicious about the charitable efforts of businesses. Are they doing it because it’s the right thing to do? Or is it done to increase brand awareness and to look good?
Rob Crosbie, chairman of St. John’s-based Crosbie Group Limited, is clear that for his company, giving back to the community is not an exercise in public relations or to boost the brand of a company heavily involved in the oil and gas, construction, real estate and onshore industrial sectors. “As a company, we believe that it is important to give back and support the community where our employees work and live,” Crosbie says. “We believe that we have a responsibility to assist in making our community a safe and stimulating place to live and work.”
It’s that attitude and commitment to giving back that has made the Crosbie Group our winner of an Industry Excellence Award in the Community Champions category. The focus on being a good corporate citizen is not some new trend for the company. Crosbie Group and its member companies have been working in Newfoundland and Labrador for over 130 years. And when you’ve been around that long, it’s hard not to develop strong ties to the communities that your employees live and work in.
Crosbie says the company’s annual cash budget for charities is in excess of $100,000. Each year the company reviews requests for support from local community groups, and this budget is dedicated to supporting those causes. Its philanthropic efforts focus on safety, health and fitness and providing opportunities for the youth of Newfoundland and Labrador.
But that’s only part of the picture when it comes to the firm’s community involvement. “We encourage and offer employees time off from work to support initiatives in the community that are important to them and their families,” Crosbie says. The list of causes and initiatives the company has been and continues to be involved in is impressive—Ronald McDonald House, Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, the YMCA, Healthcare Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and many more.
Crosbie is no slouch when it comes to community involvement, either. He says that, over the years, he’s volunteered a significant portion of his time with not-for-profit organizations and charities like the Nature Conservancy, the Canadian Museum of Nature and the Canadian Cancer Society. With the top executive of the company so involved in community causes, it’s no surprise that the Crosbie Group and its employees’ big hearts are on display on a regular basis as well.