During the global pandemic over the past year, it’s been hard to avoid noticing so many suffering, both globally and in our local communities. One of the silver linings to come from the pandemic was people becoming more aware of the needs in their community and wanting to help (except for hoarding toilet paper). As a result, the past year demonstrated an outpouring of collective action and donations to local food banks, crowdfunding campaigns and other aid to financially devastated Americans.
Some of America’s wealthiest philanthropists made headlines donating in their own backyards. An annual study by Bank of America and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy of more than 1,600 U.S. households with a net worth of at least $1 million reported that wealthy donors supported local community needs more than usual during the pandemic.
This trend was not limited to the wealthy. According to GivingTuesday’s annual report for 2020, there was a definite COVID-19 bump, as Americans across the income spectrum donated 25% more to nonprofits in 2020 as compared to 2019. The largest driver of total donors were small donations between $101 and $500.
Volunteering activity also saw a boost during 2020, particularly for humanitarian and health causes and civil rights organizations, according to data from LinkedIn.
Our Obligation to the Community
Since its inception, ML&R’s founding partners believed that vibrant and engaged communities happen when there are dedicated people to support them. Two of our core values are (1) participating actively in the community and (2) committing ourselves and living up to our commitments.
We provide service to more than 68 nonprofit clients and support our employees’ participation in community service. In total, we are collectively involved in over 290 nonprofit organizations in the Greater Austin area. In past years, employees have given over 3000+ civic activity hours annually to the community, including a Firm Wide Day of Giving, which gives us all a chance to spend a day volunteering together during the holiday season.
Maxwell Locke & Ritter also has a team of about 40 people who volunteer in pairs to cover two routes a week for Meals on Wheels Central Texas, delivering food to homebound older adults and those with disabilities. And we recently were recognized as a 2021 I Live Here I Give Here Amplify Austin award winner for Top Employee Engagement for a medium size business.
Your ML&R Wealth Management team is also proud to be involved in over 20 local organizations, servicing clientele in the essential areas of food and nutrition (Mobile Loaves and Fishes, TX Sprouts), education (Ann Richards School Foundation, KIPP Austin Alliance), arts (Austin Shakespeare Festival, Ballet Austin), sports (Austin Soccer Foundation), professional development (Dress for Success), animal welfare (Austin Humane Society), and many more.
We know that the suffering this past year has been immense, but we think it is important to find the silver lining and do what we can as a firm to help. And of course, we could not do any of this without you, our clients, so thank you for putting your trust in us.