Furniture maker is one of nation’s most ‘community-minded’ companies

Furniture maker is one of nation’s most ‘community-minded’ companies

The Verb Classroom "active learning" design focuses on the importance of movement in learning. Courtesy Steelcase

A national nonprofit that connects volunteers to social justice causes has named a local furniture maker among the nation’s most civic-minded companies.

Points of Light has named Grand Rapids-based Steelcase to its annual “Civic 50” ranking, which recognizes companies for their corporate citizenship and community engagement.

This is the second straight year Steelcase has made the ranking, which includes other large "community-minded" corporations, such as Aetna, AT&T, Capital One, Deloitte, General Mills and IBM.

Steelcase was cited for its involvement in community programs, including a mix of volunteered time, product/service donations and financial gifts.

“Since 2012, we have seen a notable shift in the results from the survey in a direction that speaks to the commitment of American companies to connect values of community service and civic engagement to the culture and operating practices of their business,” said Jennifer Lawson, executive director of the Corporate Institute at Points of Light.

Deb Bailey, director of global corporate relations at Steelcase, said the company sees community service as an “important responsibility.”

“This second recognition shows our and our employees’ commitment to donating time and resources, skills and leadership to support organizations,” Bailey said.


This year’s “Civic 50” applicants were evaluated and accrued points based on a number of factors: the quantity and impact of financial and human resources applied to civic improvement; whether internal and external resources are activated to maximize community impact; how a company’s community engagement activities support its business interests; how broadly community engagement is supported and institutionalized within a company’s policies, systems and incentives; and how a company measures the social and business value of its community engagement programs.

Steelcase causes

Steelcase supports public education, diversity and inclusion, the arts and the environment.

In fiscal year 2017, Steelcase employees logged more than 46,000 volunteer hours in 56 global locations. The company and its employees supported 275 organizations.

Highlights from Steelcase’s community contributions in the past year:

  • Steelcase Small Grants, a global program launched in March, extends cash grants up to $2,500 to a community partner an employee has an established relationship with
  • In-kind product donations to cultural institutions in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Ballet, Grandville Avenue Arts & Humanities and the Hispanic Center of West Michigan
  • Employee-driven community groups and projects in Athens, Alabama; Cluj, Romania; Monterrey and Tijuana, Mexico; Pune, India and many other locations

"Civic 50" ranking

Points of Light provides the full “Civic 50” ranking online, along with a full report, which presents the highlights, trends, benchmarking data and best practices from the 2017 "Civic 50" winners.

Points of Light

Founded in 1990 by former President George H.W. Bush, Atlanta-based Points of Light has helped millions of volunteers act on the causes they care about through programs, events and campaigns. The nonprofit’s website provides a searchable database of causes to support.

The organization is represented by celebrity “service ambassadors” Kevin Bacon, John Oliver, journalist and TV host Laura Ling, former NBA player Dikembe Mutombo and activist Bush's granddaughter, Lauren Bush Lauren.

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