Philanthropy to me, by its very nature, means not looking for anything in return. So, if the philanthropic endeavors that we are involved with have some underlying benefit to our business, that’s great, but I can tell you that we do not think of it that way, and we don’t make decisions about which organizations to support based upon their ability to provide benefits to DCA.
This community has been very good to us. We recognize that others have not necessarily been as fortunate as we have, typically through no fault of their own, so giving back seems natural, and candidly — it just feels good! That said, the Capital Cup has been good for all of the participants’ businesses. I believe we all now have a broader, deeper and more meaningful relationship with over 20 local like minded business leaders, and that’s got to be a good thing for everyone involved. More importantly for me, I feel like I have established several new friendships that I likely would never have had absent the Capital Cup.
Collaboration, networking, and shared interests is obviously a big part of my work at DCA, as is the work of other business leaders in the FBC. Because of this I attend many events to connect with various groups of people. The Idea for the Capital Cup came one day when I was asked to play in a golf tournament to support a wonderful cause, but I had neither the time to play in yet-another golf tournament, nor the excess financial resources to support it in a meaningful way. It had always struck me as odd and unfortunate how inefficient the non-profit fundraising world seemed to be, with hundreds of them dedicating the time and resources to plan, organize and execute a golf tournament that typically yielded $20,000 to $30,000 (or less) for the supported organization.
Those people have important work to do in their organizations, and that just simply seemed like an ineffective use of their time. I wondered then if we could pull off one big golf tournament where we could play and have an opportunity to support a cause we each were most passionate about. And, in doing so play a role in supporting these 20-25 different organizations without the charities’ personnel having to be wildly distracted from their more-important functions.
It really was a very selfish concept when you cut right to it— it allowed me to save a bunch of time, golf and spend time with a great group of local business leaders, and feel good about helping to support dozens more organizations than I would otherwise have had an opportunity to support.
The Ryder Cup format was the perfect platform to build this concept around, and thus the Capital Cup was born. It is truly an example of effective collaboration. It never would have been possible without the great early adopters like Kerry Gordon and Steve Fleming, who quick to jump in and offered me the confidence to move forward with the concept.
The first year out I nervously set a target of $150,000, and we somehow raised nearly $350,000. Last year I was concerned that we were never going to be able to surpass that first year’s success, and we blew past it raising over $750,000. This year we’re feeling more aggressive and shooting for a cool $1million. I’m excited to see what we can do together and all that we can accomplish to support our regional community.