Want to see a prime example of corporate social responsibility? Look no further than Calgary-based Annapolis Capital. Not only does the private investment management firm donate locally, it’s also a generous supporter of Operation Eyesight.
“Giving is integrated into our corporate culture,” says Annapolis’ president and CEO, Peter Williams. “We started out in a simple way, but we’re certainly evolving. We want to make a difference in the world.”
For the past few years, instead of buying holiday cards or gifts for its investor companies, Annapolis has been purchasing symbolic gifts of eye surgeries from Operation Eyesight. Not only do Annapolis’ clients receive notifications from Operation Eyesight telling them holiday gifts have been made in their names, people in Africa and India benefit from this generous gesture. Peter says he has seen these letters posted on recipient company bulletin boards so that all staff can share in the spirit of giving.
In the summer, Annapolis hosts an annual golf tournament, and Peter seizes the opportunity to showcase the corporation’s philanthropic interests to its clients.
“We want to set an example to our investor companies and show leadership in giving. This raises other giving possibilities,” he says. “We have a huge amount of confidence that others will see donating as the right thing to do.”
Peter learned about Operation Eyesight’s mission to eliminate avoidable blindness while attending a philanthropic luncheon a few years ago. He was inspired when he heard a husband and wife describe their longstanding relationship with the organization.
“I heard a wonderful story from a couple who said that although they had a modest income when they were first married, they still wanted to make a difference. They set aside $10 per month for Operation Eyesight in order to give one individual the gift of sight. Then throughout their lives, when they were able to give more, they increased their level of giving. That story really touched me, and it never left me. I was impressed with how they took their giving to the next level when they could manage it.”
After taking that model to heart, Annapolis Capital is well on its way to becoming a champion of corporate generosity. As Peter says, “Our view is to share the spirit of giving, and what better way to do that than by helping other human beings?”
Read more about the spirit of philanthropy in our recently published Report to Donors, which celebrates the ways Operation Eyesight’s donors have made a dramatic impact in the lives of children, women and men in Africa and India.