At Paradigm Properties, we want to exceed the expectations of our tenants in every way. It’s why we help them find ways to give back to the community.

In 1998, Paradigm CEO Kevin McCall had the idea to connect a small group of nonprofits with the tenants in the company’s portfolio to organize building-wide charity events. This effort was dubbed Community Connection. In 2004, following several years of successful piloting of this concept, Paradigm decided to make the program available to other landlords and launched Building Impact (BI) as an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. BI now works with 17 owners and property managers and coordinates community service projects for 200 Greater Boston nonprofits, reaching over 575 companies and 20,000 individuals in more than 50 buildings.

We know it’s difficult for many companies, particularly small to mid-size firms, to figure out ways to help their employees be active in the community. There are dozens of focus areas and thousands of nonprofit organizations that need the help of people and companies with time and resources. Companies struggle with which area to focus on and which nonprofits with which to work. They also recognize that most employees (especially Millennials who have had community service experience in high school and college) don’t want the company dictating how they spend their community time – they just want the company to provide some help and flexibility. That’s why Building Impact is such a terrific partner. BI’s staff does the legwork, vets nonprofits, sets up engagement opportunities, and creates a menu of volunteering and giving options for companies and their employees. It’s a bottom-up model that BI calls the “democratization of corporate community involvement.”

It’s a model we’re confident in and excited about. In fact, the Building Impact Board recently tapped Diana Brennan to serve as BI’s CEO. She understands that, in increasing numbers, companies and individuals want to give back to their communities and make new business and social connections while doing so. It’s a model that works for today’s workers, and we’re excited to see where it goes next.