The Santa Monica’s Chamber of Commerce (SMCC) honored Santa Monica based Rubin Postaer & Associates (RPA) as a Business Cares recipient on February 12 for their fundraising campaign to help end homelessness.
This event helped inaugurate the SMCC’s new Business Cares program which helps spotlight local businesses that are working to end homelessness. Rick Stauf who is the co-chair of the Chamber’s Homelessness Committee explained that an event like this one will now be scheduled every two months so that businesses can not only be recognized for their work, but also can explain to other businesses why they got involved and why it was good for their company.
Andrea Dubois, member of RPA’s Human Resources Department explained that her company has always had a November-December workplace giving program that focused on the United Way. In addition, they also chose a local charity every year because “we feel it’s important to give back to the community that’s been good to us in Santa Monica.” For 2008, it was the Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC).
The OPCC website states, they are “the largest and most comprehensive provider of housing and services on the Westside to low-income and homeless youth, adults and families, battered women and their children, and people living with mental illness, particularly homeless mentally ill women.”
Dubois added that getting donations from RPA employees was tougher in 2008 than in the past because of the decline in the economy. She also mentioned that many of her company’s associates are young, so they don’t have as much money to donate. However, despite these obstacles, they still had a successful fundraising campaign. She then explained how they did it.
The day before RPA started their 2008 campaign they put up posters designed by their staff on elevators and cabinet doors that said “Put a life back together.” They then hosted a happy hour with OPCC and had a fair share day. A fair day encourages each employee to donate a day’s pay in return for a vacation day. This is how they generate most of their donations.
This year RPA got donations from clients for a raffle that any employee who donated at least $24 could enter. This really helped donations this year according to Dubois because of the weak economy because employees didn’t have to donate a whole day’s pay.RPA also hosted several events to help raise money for OPCC. They were a live auction for donated items, a website auction where employees could bid on donated items until the clock runs out, and a poker night.