Florida CEO Trends
CEO Trends Survey Results and Reactions
The Economy in 2007, Emergent Issues, Property Values, Expanding Markets
Howell W. Melton Jr.
Holland & Knight
The decrease in charitable spending surprises me because for us it is not about the dollar or economic uncertainty. Giving back is part of our core cultural values, which also include pro bono work for poor people and diversity in our hiring.
We expect our lawyers to give a certain percentage of the compensation they receive. We also donate 60,000 pro-bono hours a year at 17 offices in nine states. In addition to the $1.2 million of this year's budget set aside for giving, our Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation funds special construction projects such as the new memorial in New York to the 342 firefighters who died on 9/11, and the Chesterfield Smith classroom at the University of Florida law school.
We'll give more in 2007 because we've been fortunate this year, which gives us greater resources to use.
The bottom line is certainly important to us, but we've always focused on being something more. We continue to give even when we could cut back and improve our bottom-line performance.