Community engagement resides in the DNA of North Berkeley Wealth Management, a principle established by our founders and fostered throughout the past 15 years by our team. Engagement is essential to us as individuals and as a firm, and we pursue it via financial support, volunteering, event sponsorship, and the provision of pro bono financial services.
Our newly released 2019 Community Engagement Report shares highlights of the many ways we make contributions through our giving program. Download the PDF for highlights of the organizations with which we shared our financial and human resources.
Why Giving and Community Engagement Matter
We live in our community, we work in our community, and we want our community to thrive. At North Berkeley Wealth Management, we think a lot about connection and impact. The smallest investment, be it financial, personal time, or through the sharing of knowledge or expertise, impacts those around us, often resulting in a chain of impact that reaches far beyond the initial gesture. We believe that prosperity is not defined solely by individual achievement but by the well-being of entire communities. We work to have a positive impact for all our stakeholders – our clients, our employees, local partner professionals, and our shared community.
Connection: Engagement in Our Local Community
We find a connection in a shared sense of place, and cherish knowing the people, businesses, and organizations that surround us in the East Bay. It helps us better understand the needs of the community and our unique position in it. We want to be a valuable – and available –resource, and be able to share our expertise in a way that makes our connections grow stronger.
We do several things to stay connected. We host events such as art receptions of local artists whose work we display in our onsite gallery. We attend fundraisers, and use the services of local businesses. Taken together, these relatively simple acts can contribute to a richer shared community.
Resources: Engaging through Giving
As part of the community, it is our responsibility to recognize and address the needs of those around us. Though we can not support every deserving cause, we can give where we feel we have the most impact.
One recent example is the Berkeley Food Network, which our partner, Kate Campbell King, helped found in 2016. It is a nonprofit created by a handful of individuals who saw food insecurity as an unaddressed issue in Berkeley. Through a commitment of time, money, and knowledge a full-time food distribution center was opened in 2019. Our firm supported their effort along the way, and what was once just an idea, is now positively impacting hundreds of people in our city.
Relationships are dynamic; they change over time and require ongoing attention. A company’s connection to its community is no different. It takes an ongoing commitment of giving in all of its forms to maintain the well-being of a community. Making a one-time donation, providing a volunteer for an afternoon, or opening up your office for a community event is incredibly valuable, and gradually leads to more opportunities and stronger relationships.
We have worked with one community partner, YES/Nature to Neighborhoods, for nearly 15 years. Over time more of our employees have become involved in their efforts to fundraise, to develop their staff to increase their programs, and make their organization financially stable. Lead advisor Matthew Gatt serves as their board treasurer, and in addition to some simple funding we have also provided supplies to their campers.
Maureen Sullivan, our Client Experience Associate, has made a contribution through the Berkeley public schools. For several years she used her service time off hours to provide weekly writing coach services to students at Berkeley High School. More recently, she has shifted to tutoring at Oxford Elementary School.
We’ve found through our work with community partners that regularly giving to the same cause and building relationships around that cause has a much more significant effect on the organization than one-off engagements, and that commitment over time equals a deeper and more satisfying connection for our team members as well.
A Final Word on Community Engagement
Providing a service like investment management and financial planning within a community is a form of engagement that enhances the work we do for our specific clients – and it allows us to reach beyond them as well. We can connect on a deeper level in the community, have a broader impact, and give our clients a stronger sense of community connection as well. Building connections on an ongoing basis supports the health and wealth of everyone. As a B Corp, we want to live our commitment to be a stable and profitable business, as well as to be a force for good in the world.
This commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints, and analyses of the North Berkeley Wealth Management (“North Berkeley”) employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by North Berkeley or performance returns of any North Berkeley client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data, or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. North Berkeley manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.