Charitable giving and volunteering have always been important to Fengate Corporation’s corporate culture. Now, the company has enlisted the help of Hamilton Community Foundation to structure and inform its community support.
“We started a fund at HCF for a number of reasons,” says Lou Serafini Jr., Fengate’s president. “First, we want to recognize our Hamilton roots. The company started here and while we’re now national, we remain committed to Hamilton’s well-being. Second, HCF has the specialized knowledge of charities to help us effectively direct our support and third, this will enhance our culture of giving and volunteering. Our team is very engaged in the community and we value the idea of supporting their charitable efforts outside the workplace.”
The company puts its policies behind those words. Staff are given days off to volunteer and participate actively in corporate giving decisions. In addition, an award is presented annually to a staff member whose community involvement is outstanding.
Founded in Hamilton in 1974 by Louis Serafini Sr., Fengate has grown to a national enterprise with over 400 employees. The company is a Canadian market leader in asset management, developing infrastructure, commercial real estate and seniors housing. Since 2007, Fengate has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies.
“I’m very proud of these achievements. However, success is about more than the bottom line, it’s about giving back in ways that make our community a better place to live,” says Lou Jr. “We have a social responsibility as a corporation and it is important to share our success with those who need help.”
The donor-advised Fengate Community Foundation Fund will support projects focused on children, youth and seniors within the fields of health, education and the environment. The fund will also direct 20 percent of its annual granting to HCF’s Community Fund.
Through the process of establishing the fund, Lou Jr. was impressed with HCF’s expertise and low management cost. “It gives us great confidence that this relationship will multiply Fengate’s charitable impact,” he says. “There is tremendous value in HCF’s knowledge of the community’s needs and its understanding of the best opportunities to help. We’re very excited about this partnership.”
Excerpt from 2009-2010 Annual Report