stewardship2.jpgWebster’s dictionary defines stewardship as, “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”

As an adoptive parent, I can understand stewardship. Bringing a child who once belonged to different parents into your home is an act of stewardship. In fact, before the adoption is finalized and before you become the legal parent of the child, you’re called the child’s “steward.” You’ve been entrusted to care for a person which is not yet your own.

Stewardship as a Core Value

Here at EnergyCAP, we promote good stewardship intentionally. In fact, it’s one of the four core values that drive EnergyCAP, Inc. as a company:

  • Product Leadership
  • Operational Excellence
  • Customer Intimacy
  • Good Stewardship

And if you think about it, even our product (utility bill management software) and related service offerings (Bill CAPture, Smart CAPture, etc.) are all about good stewardship—helping our clients manage their energy resources responsibly and effectively with the greatest economy of time and other resources. Many of our readers spend their work days, or even their entire careers, caring for something not their own!

But there’s another application of stewardship that’s important to many at our company—the stewardship of money. And if we can get beyond seeing money as “our own,” the stewardship concept can be transformative.

Even if we earn money with our own two hands, who gave us our hands? Even if we work 60 hours a week, who gave us our time? Even if we dream up brilliant ideas, who gave us our minds? The capacity to earn money is a gift, and so the money itself is a gift too. Managing that gift can become an act of good stewardship, and a way to honor the Giver.

With this mindset, we operate three giving programs at EnergyCAP, Inc.: 

Matched Employee Giving (MEG)

Through MEG, employees give to charitable organizations that are important to them, and the company matches the gifts. In 2016, employees gave to dozens of charities like:

  • Barbells for Boobs (yes, I said boobs!), which helps with early detection of breast cancer
  • Penns Valley Youth Center, which provides children with hope, worth, and friendship through a fun and safe environment
  • Nittany Valley Symphony, which gives opportunities for local musicians to perform music
  • Compassion International, which helps children break free from poverty
  • Rescue Our Furry Friends, which rescues cats and dogs from unsafe places
  • Hearts for the Homeless, which supports the homeless community

There are far too many charities to list here, but other causes important to our valued employees include medical research, leadership development, crisis counseling, substance abuse relief, and athletic sponsorship.

Planned Employee Giving (PEG)

Another giving program is PEG. Through PEG, employees can choose to have a gift amount automatically deducted from their paychecks and given to one or two particular charities. This way, they don’t have to think about it; the donation just happens.

The two charities are:

  • Centre County United Way, which fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our county. In honor of our employees’ commitment to the United Way, we were recently awarded a Silver Award.
  • Global Capacity is our company-founded nonprofit organization. Global Capacity supports families in the village of Kanombe, Rwanda, to provide secondary school fees, school materials, and health insurance. Global Capacity recently sent its first full-time worker to live there.

We’re thankful for the generosity of our employees who give as part of the MEG and PEG programs.

Charitable Giving

In addition to employee-generated giving in 2016, the company also supported organizations that do good work around the world to:

  • Help families beat pediatric cancer
  • Support individuals with Down syndrome
  • Inspire the rare disease community through sport
  • Feed families living in slum communities

This holiday season, we’re extremely thankful for the capacity to work, earn money, and help others be good stewards of what they’ve been given.

Happy Holidays from EnergyCAP, Inc.!

About The Author
Chris is Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., which helps organizations get value from their utility bills through energy management software. He's an Associate Certified Coach by the International Coach Federation, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, and a Certified Professional Life Coach. He also started www.Munyay.com to help people love their life and love their work.
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