The business karma of intentional philanthropy

The business karma of intentional philanthropy

Dr. James Greg White is an orthodontist, entrepreneur, restaurateur and philanthropist who has offices in Danville, KY. Over the past six years, the practice of White, Greer and Maggard has donated $1.3 million to specific projects, with $700,000 of it going to school systems in central Kentucky and a half-million to other organizations. The business karma of intentional philanthropy.

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“These are the things we’re involved in,” White said. Some involve our patients and some don’t, but all of it involves community. The orthodontics practice has made charitable contributions since 1991, but it was in 2005 that adding a philanthropic component to the business was every intentional, according to White. “We realized the more we became involved with people, the more people became involved with us,” he said.The majority of the practice’s marketing budget is earmarked for the organizations moms are passionate about, including schools, extracurricular activities and churches. Aside from the company’s namesakes, almost all other staff members are women, and most of them are mothers. “I see what moms do,” White said. It is an unbelievably difficult schedule to manage.

Rather than purchase an ad in a program or on a website, White finds it far more beneficial to sit down and have a meeting with the president of a local sports league, a school principal or the head a PTA. “It’s a one-on-one process,” he said. I want to see that need face to face. The practice has purchased uniforms for soccer teams, smartboards for classrooms, basketball goals for an elementary school and customized take-home folders for 50 local schools.
For the July Fourth weekend in 2011, White’s Beaumont office hosted an outdoor party with hot-air balloon rides and face painting for anyone who showed up. About 2,500 people did. “There are so many distractions for kids now that move them away from activity,” White said. Just play. Many families have children attending different schools and participating in various activities, so chances are good that those parents will see several examples of White, Greer and Maggard sponsorships.
White hears comments from his young patients’ parents almost daily, in the form of we’re here because of this. The practice has six offices in Lexington (Beaumont and Hamburg), Danville, Georgetown, Nicholasville and Richmond. With the blessing and support of partners Dr. Jim Greer and Dr. Michael Brent Maggard, White handles the practice’s charitable disbursements. Each of the partners has four children, and all are in agreement of supporting organizations that benefit moms and kids.
It is marketing coordinator Alyssa Vance’s full-time job to field 15 to 25 requests per day. “I feel like Santa Claus,” she said. A combination of Santa and elf, that is, with lots of spreadsheets and cell phone reminders to help her keep track of everything. And yes, sometimes the answer to a request is no.
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