Robert Bassam and Easterns Automotive: Instilling a Culture of Philanthropy in Organizations
The Founder and CEO of Easterns Automotive Group, Robert Bassam, is a firm believer in philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Under the leadership of Robert Bassam, the Easterns Group has established itself as one of the leading auto dealers in the D.C. metropolitan area. Aside from its industry leadership, Easterns has also made a name in the field of philanthropy, donating both cash and items to charities and non-profits of different kinds. Robert has a soft spot for children, and is concerned about children who cannot enjoy their childhood due to debilitating or life-threatening diseases.
When Robert Bassam and Easterns Automotive Group decided to direct some of their earnings to charity, many people were skeptical about the move. Most of the doubters were of the mindset that small donations coming from small companies were not enough to make a significant impact on their beneficiaries’ lives. However, small businesses are actually in a very good position to create a difference in their communities, and while these organizations slowly build a culture of giving back, they are actually gaining a lot too.
Many companies do not have large revenues, but make up for it by requiring their employees to do volunteer work in a field related to their industry. A restaurant chain, for example, could double as a soup kitchen for the homeless. Other companies tend to donate time and money to a diverse set of charities to ensure that their efforts reach the largest number of people possible.
Either way, building a giving culture serves many purposes for these businesses. For instance, when Robert Bassam and the Easterns Group decided to help out a Salvation Army volunteer, the company got a lot of exposure on Fox 5 DC. As a result, the Easterns office’s phone lines were jammed the next day by calls from people interested in Easterns’ activities.
But more important than the media exposure gained by Robert Bassam and the Easterns Group, a culture of giving tends to attract some of the best and the brightest prospective employees. Jobseekers tend to look for jobs in companies that have good business reputations, and for them, a philanthropic culture shows that a company is out to make a difference in more ways than one. In turn, once they do join the company, they feel a better connection to the business and co-workers, making the workplace feel more productive and collaborative.
Philanthropy also opens doors to different opportunities both within and outside business circles. For instance, BLITZ for the Better Foundation, where Robert Bassamis a member of the board, is headed by Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan. Among the other members of the BLITZ for the Better Foundation board are the CEOs of Chesapeake Public Strategies, Washington First Bank, and Client Solutions Architects. As such, the Easterns Group finds itself in the company of such distinguished organizations with solid reputations around the DC area and beyond.
One does not have to donate large sums of money or start a foundation to become a philanthropist. Small businesses can start a culture of giving through volunteer work. Robert Bassam and the Easterns Group have proven that the smallest gestures can go a long way in improving one’s community.