Kitchell finalist for Corporate Philanthropy award

Kitchell was named one of three Community Impact finalists in the mid-size companies category as part of the Phoenix Business Journal‘s Corporate Philanthropy Awards.

Excerpted from The Business Journal:

What is the driving factor behind your corporate philanthropy? Our employee-owners are the heart and soul of our company, and they drive our community engagement while fulfilling our corporate mission,“Together, building value every day”. Our people take great pride in fulfilling our mission by building value in not only the physical structures we create, but also building value in our communities.

How do you inspire employees to be involved in your corporate mission? Our corporate mission and purpose, “Together, building value every day.”is our mantra. We are bound together by this purpose and passionate about the flexibility of it. While the “value” might change in this phrase, we are builders at our core.

What is a signature program that shows how your company conducts philanthropy? We recently rolled out our inaugural “Founder’s Day,” recognizing the spirit of service and philanthropic legacy of Founder Sam Kitchell. We charged employees, teams, jobs sites and offices with facilitating community engagement projects and committed to donating $25 per employee per hour to the nonprofits where they dedicated their time. The activities were all timed to coincide with the anniversary of Kitchell’s passing and National Day of Service and Remembrance on Sept. 11. The tangible results of this effort were 1,012 hours donated by 255 employees (some with friends and family members), and more than $17,000 in contributions to nonprofits in Arizona, California, Washington and Texas.

How do you decide what philanthropic efforts to be involved with? We have some organizations that are supported on a corporate level, but for the most part our employee-owners drive the efforts we support through their passion, advocacy and business networks. Our philanthropy is geographically representative of our locations.

How much in terms of money and volunteer hours did you give during the past year? Our total nonprofit giving as a company for the 12 months ending June 30 was $977,314. Of that, nearly $800,000 benefited nonprofit organizations in Arizona. We do not record all volunteer hours, but those who do report their time totaled 1,612 hours in that time period through June 30.

What are the benefits you’ve seen in your office from corporate philanthropy? Organizations want to work with companies that are good stewards of the community. They want to see companies that get deeply involved in causes that are important to them. Similarly, today’s new generation of workers is attracted to workplaces that encourage and reward community involvement.

What is better to give: money, time or both? Why? Both time and money are important, and neither can survive without the other. Fortunately our state leaders have created incentives for companies to be able to contribute to worthwhile causes and often receive dollar-for-dollar tax credit. And charitable organizations – especially here in the Valley – have made volunteer recruitment much easier. Several nonprofits outline specific tasks for teams of people to accomplish in one or two hours.

How do you measure the impact of your corporate giving efforts? Several ways:

  • Hours contributed – more than 1,200 hours so far in 2018
  • Dollars contributed – not only our corporate donations but the amount of money employees give through our 50 percent match program
  • Informal feedback/comments
  • New work – when we do good, we get work. It’s as simple as that
  • Attrition – our younger employees value the work we do in the community and as we publicize this work internally and through social media channels, our culture improves and retention rates increase.

Build Fore Good nets more than $300k for nonprofits since inception

In its fifth year, the Build Fore Good golf tournament has grown into a fun and unpretentious day for professionals in the building industry, with the side benefit of raising a remarkable amount of money for local nonprofits. This year’s beneficiary is the Foundation for Blind Children, which received a $60,000 contribution from the tournament proceeds, bringing the total dollars raised for local charitable organizations to more than $300,000 since the tournament’s inception.

Held at the beautiful Kierland golf course during November’s prime golfing season, the 2017 tournament hosted 216 golfers on three courses and was produced by 30 volunteers from Kitchell and hardison/downey construction, inc. Foursomes were treated to competitive challenges and diversions peppered throughout the golf course, including massage stations, corn hole, hole-in-one, longest drive and speed hole competitions. The tournament’s title sponsor was Mark-Taylor. Other sponsors were Lockton and American Openings.

“It’s important for us to support organizations to which our employee-owners are connected,” said Kitchell CEO Jim Swanson. “With many of our team members working on the Foundation’s physical expansion and seeing firsthand how expansive their reach is, selecting them as this year’s beneficiary just made sense.”

The Foundation for Blind Children ( serves the blind and visually impaired of all ages, striving to serve as the community resource for blind, visually impaired and multi-handicapped children, adults and their families. The organization has locations in the East Valley, West Valley and Central Phoenix.

The Foundation is one of many nonprofit recipients of Kitchell’s generosity, which has exceeded $500,000 over the past year benefiting communities where Kitchell has offices and operations throughout the country. Support throughout the year has encompassed K-12 schools, Teach for America, Ryan House, Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation and Desert Mission Food Bank, among others. This year, Kitchell employees, through the Foundation, also contributed more than $34,000 to hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida.