Associates double their impact through United Way campaign
For the 53rd consecutive year, Raymond James partnered with United Way to improve education systems, strengthen financial stability for individuals and families, and make communities healthier. This decades-long partnership is built on the foundation of a shared mission – giving back to the communities in which we live and work.
Our partnership culminates annually with the firm’s matching gift campaign during which Raymond James matches all associate donations to the United Way and its partner agencies – dollar-for-dollar – up to $10,000.
Associates cumulatively gave more than $3.7 million. Together with the firm match, Raymond James and our associates will donate $6.9 million toward United Way chapters and nonprofit organizations across the U.S.
How our $6.9 million will make a difference
One of the world’s largest privately funded charitable organizations, United Way serves 95% of all U.S. communities. With the help over 1.5 million volunteers and 45,000 corporate partners, the organization impacts 48 million people each year. But what really distinguishes United Way is its methodical approach, fiscal discipline and strong ties to the communities it serves.
“United way makes it so you can be confident that your donations will make a difference,” Chair Emeritus Tom James said. “[The annual United Way matching gift campaign] has acculturated our people to the art of giving.”
In the Tampa Bay market, where Raymond James is headquartered, the United Way Suncoast chapter focuses on early learning, youth success and financial stability. Many of the Suncoast chapter’s programs and initiatives support who they call ALICE families: Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. ALICE households are living above the poverty line but aren’t making enough to cover their basic needs. Increases in everyday expenses continue to plague these families’ ability to save or prepare for unexpected financial setbacks.
As of 2019, 56% of children in the state of Florida lived below the ALICE threshold. With comprehensive data down to the ZIP code level, United Way Suncoast provides extensive support to families who need it most, with over $13 million invested to support 150 programs across five local counties. Programs include neighborhood resource centers, income tax assistance and financial coaching, eviction mitigation and more.
“At United Way Suncoast and United Way chapters across the country, we are responding to both long-term needs, like affordable housing and early learning, and short-term crises, like natural disasters,” United Way Suncoast CEO Jessica Muroff said. “We wouldn’t be able to do this without the support of our donors and corporate partners.”
In the firm’s second-largest employee location, United Way of the Mid-South in Memphis, Tennessee, is mobilizing community resources to address persistent, multigenerational poverty. In the face of nearly a quarter of Memphians living in poverty, United Way of the Mid-South’s Driving the Dream initiative was born.
“Nobody wants to stay in poverty. Everybody has dreams of a better life,” United Way of the Mid-South President and CEO Dr. Kenneth Robinson said. “So for us, it was critical to create a solution to move people from where they are to where they dream to be.”
Driving the Dream is a functional, collaborative network of effective community-based services to help individuals on their path to economic self-sufficiency. The idea: Bring nonprofit partners out of their silos and help them work together to address individuals holistically. As part of the initiative, United Way of the Mid-South identified 120 partner agencies to collaborate with – partners in education, health and wellbeing, family/social capital and economic support.
With more than 6,400 families served from 2018 through 2022, 44% of Driving the Dream program participants reported more stable employment and 61% reported higher income.
A history of giving
“This firm has such a deep history of giving – a tradition started by Tom and his father, Bob – and it is a real cultural force here today,” Chair and CEO Paul Reilly said. “With their generosity and volunteerism, our advisors and associates continue to set an example for community-minded leadership.”
A key lesson Raymond James Founder Bob James taught his son was that thriving businesses can’t exist without thriving communities – so giving back isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
“My father would always say it’s all about people, it’s about all the people,” Tom said. “I can tell you that makes such a big difference, and engaging in the community is an important element that has made us successful. I’m very proud, that all over the United States now, in every city we live and work, we take that idea very seriously.”
Sources: United Way Worldwide, United Way Suncoast, United Way of the Mid-South