Directors Mortgage wins third consecutive Portland Business Journal Corporate Philanthropy Award
It’s no surprise that Directors Mortgage would have a philanthropic affinity for nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, the HOME Foundation and Home Builders Foundation.
But the company goes far beyond its industry leanings to do what it can to give back to the community where its clients and team members live, work and play.
Chairman and CEO Mark Hanna says Directors is focused on where it can make the most positive and meaningful impacts, with a concentration on health, education and activity.
“We have several minimum qualifications to ensure our support is doing the most good, such as requiring that our donated dollars are going the furthest they can for each cause by selecting organizations with low overhead,” Hanna said. “Our ideal nonprofit partner is where the vast majority of our proceeds go toward their cause.”
This year, on its 20th anniversary, Directors strengthened efforts to have its team members get involved and come together to make a difference. The company launched a yearlong initiative called #DirectKindness. Team members are encouraged to submit ideas, participate in volunteer activities or make monetary donations to give back and say thank you to the community.
“This has really inspired an internal charitable movement to have more hands-on support to make a difference,” Hanna said.
Earlier this year, Directors partnered with Habitat for Humanity in Portland and southwest Washington. “Employee team members worked hand in hand with future homeowners to build their house. That boots-on-the-ground, doing-dirty-work connection was extremely impactful on employees,” said Brad Yasuda, community relations manager for Directors Mortgage.
“Since we’ve established ourselves as a company that cares, our phones ring off the hook with (philanthropic) requests, and that can become a full-time job,” said Travis Olson, Directors regional manager for Oregon and Washington. So a charitable committee has been set up that reviews budgets and looks for areas of particular need.
“It’s very difficult to say no; there are so many worthy causes. But we’re big believers in the fact that if we focus on our core mission, we’re a lot stronger and more effective than if we spread ourselves too thin,” Olson said.
Youth-based initiatives, particularly youth sports, are another focus area. “Any day of the week, you can see hundreds of kids playing club or youth or inner-city soccer sponsored by Directors Mortgage. The message sent to these kids and families is very powerful,” Olson said. “Kids who have progressed through the program often share stories of getting their first soccer jersey from Directors. In some small way, we help these kids.”
And in conjunction with Trail Blazer C.J. McCollum, Directors raised awareness while making a significant donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Portland to create a safe space for at-risk kids.
Directors also was involved in the recent St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer at the Oregon Zoo, along with a similar event in Seattle. Each raised $150,000, over $300,000 total, and over 30 employees participated, along with family members.
Employees have contributed countless hours and attend almost every event. “It’s super easy just to write a check, but to roll up your sleeves, sweat and, in some cases, bleed” makes a bigger impact on employees, Yasuda said. “The company is very flexible with time and knows it gets back 10 times what it gives.”
In 2019, Directors plans to stay the course, adhering to its core values. The company’s expansion into eastern Washington—including the Tri-Cities area, Spokane and Moses Lake—in the past 18 months, offers more opportunities in new markets.
“Our culture is a big draw to prospective employees. Team members are not reprimanded or forced to participate. So much comes natural in this culture,” Yasuda said.
#1 Directors Mortgage
What it does: Local mortgage specialists in residential loans, purchases, refinances, construction loans, reverse mortgages and debt consolidation
No. of employees: 184 locally; 234 globally
Local cash contributions: $686,335
Paid employee hours donated: 211
Noteworthy recipients: Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area; St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital; Our Lady of the Lake
#2 Riverview Community Bank
Local employees: 215
Local cash contributions: $401,237
Local in-kind contributions: NA
Employee hours donated: NA
Noteworthy recipients: Beaches Charity Fund; Partners In Careers; Northwest Association of Blind Athletes
#3 iQ Credit Union
Local employees: 270
Local cash contributions: $359,650
Local in-kind contributions: $118,000
Employee hours donated: 577
Noteworthy recipients: Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation; iQ for Kids; Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools
#4 Portland Timbers & Thorns FC
Local employees: 148
Local cash contributions: $320,869
Local in-kind contributions: $433,064
Employee hours donated: 2,740
Noteworthy recipients: Active Children Portland; Special Olympics Oregon; Friends of the Columbia Gorge
#5 Ferguson Wellman Capital Mgmt./ West Bearing Investments
Local employees: 47
Local cash contributions: $312,573
Local in-kind contributions: NA
Employee hours donated: 7,200
Noteworthy recipients: Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington; Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon; Friends of the Columbia Gorge