Photo by Eric Francis

Give back. Do the most good. Help each other.

Call it what you will, but heartfelt stewardship is vital to the success of a community, and those who create meaning through unconditional giving are motivating others to do right daily.

Take Rachel Nagunst, for example. Nagunst started Anytime Tees nine years ago.

“As a company, we talk early and often about the importance of being visible in the community and stepping in and up without being asked,” Nagunst says.

Recently, the small business was especially proud of the way it was able to support the family of Jill White, a longtime athletic trainer, after her sudden death. Anytime Tees raised $6000 for Jill’s family through online shirt sales.

“Working hard throughout the year allows us to step up in situations like this and donate our time and resources for good people and good causes,” Nagunst says.

According to Giving USA, Americans donated more than $390 billion in 2016 – 72 percent of which was fueled by individuals. Corporations contributed five percent ($18.55 billion), with foundations and bequests rounding out the total.

Giving back to the community has been a driving force for First National Bank, a longtime corporate donor, for more than 160 years. It strives to encourage successful communities in all the places it operates, and it is committed to investing considerable resources into eight interconnected elements that make a community successful, including stable housing, neighborhood revitalization and strong local economies.

“Since 2016, we have invested more than $84 million in our communities across our seven-state region, of which more than $47.8 million was invested in the Greater Omaha area. In addition, First National Bank employees have volunteered more than 100,000 hours and we are making great progress on reaching our priority goals,” says First National’s Alec Gorynski.

Like First National Bank, Gallup is also involved in the success of communities, partnering with more than 40 nonprofit organizations in the Omaha area alone.

“We urge our associates to be active members of our communities, and we encourage employees to devote their time and talents to causes they are passionate about, says Gallup’s Katelyn Sakala.

Gallup’s internal program, Community Builders, supports local organizations that focus on Youth, Education, Leadership, Diversity and Strengths. Whether it’s providing a 100-percent match of associate donations to these Community Builders programs, serving as board members on local nonprofit organizations, or hosting and volunteering at community events, Gallup says its organization is committed to empowering communities and changing the world.

The result: Empowered communities mean empowered individuals – and that’s a gift that gives again and again.

Business Excellence Awards

Make plans to surround yourself with excellence as we celebrate our slate of winners and amplify their stories.