Beth Boggs (’91) is featured in article on corporate philanthropy in the St. Louis Business Journal

November 12, 2020 , By Veneta Rizvic – Special Sections Editor, St. Louis Business Journal


Highest total cash giving as a percentage of revenue winner

Olivette-based Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs reported 2019 revenue of $5.3 million and contributed more than $220,000 in cash and in-kind donations in the St. Louis region — nearly 4% of its annual revenue. In addition, the law firm donated 700 employee volunteer hours to charitable organizations.

"We aren't just writing checks (although we have written numerous checks), we are hands on in the community and are trying to encourage others to do the same," said Beth Boggs, the law firm's managing partner.

In the wake of Covid-19, the firm has focused on getting masks and food to community members in need. Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs set up weekly food distributions at various sites around the city of St. Louis and in St. Louis County to help.

The top nonprofits and organizations the firm has donated to in 2019 include the Southern Illinois University School of Law, Step it Up, East Side Heart & Home Family Center and the Ritenour Co-Care Food Pantry. The firm also partnered with various nonprofits in 2020 to help provide food in the community, including Little Bit Foundation, the NAACP and Epworth Charities, among others.

Below, Boggs explained how the firm is encouraging employees to give back and how Covid-19 has impacted the firm's giving plans.

How does philanthropy impact your company's bottom line? We choose to make giving a part of our business philosophy and consider it a necessary and important part of our budget.

How do you encourage your employees to get involved in giving back? We ask employees to help with their time and funds, and to be community oriented. We have employees participate every day of the week. We make sandwiches every Tuesday and Thursday, along with state court judges and retired federal judges. The employees enjoy engaging in a significant manner in the community.

Which activity in the last year got the most employee participation? We make sandwiches every Tuesday and Thursday evening. In addition, we distribute food Tuesday through Saturday. The employees have learned to drive the trucks, use pallet jacks and lifts. They bag beverages and meals every day we have a distribution. They deliver food to pantries in Missouri and Illinois.They take masks to schools, they take computers to foster homes. We pair and team with Operation Food Search and the NAACP to find sites to make sure that we have the maximum impact in the community.

What steps do you take to determine the causes and charities that are best suited for your company? We carefully vet every organization that we donate to by volunteering and working hands on with them.

How has Covid-19 impacted your philanthropic efforts this year? Since Covid began, our firm has been involved in assembling, organizing and staffing food distributions in the city and county. We have given away tens of thousands to meals and given masks to every guest. We have switched from focusing on clothing and shoes to food insecurity during Covid. Due to the Covid impact on schools and feeding kids, we hired eight extra summer employees to just help people with food drives and distributions

What philanthropic activities do you have planned in the coming year? We do five food distributions a week right now and will continue those.

What advice would you give to companies who are considering incorporating a giving-back program? Involve your employees in the process. Have them see what the charities do and the impact of the giving. Let them go on site and volunteer and meet the people affected by the work of the charity.