Bellevue based firm increases charitable giving despite tough times

  • Monday, February 16, 2009 9:54pm
  • Business

Co-founder and CEO of Intelius Naveen Jain

In 2008, while many corporations were cutting back on charitable giving because of the tight economy, Bellevue-based Intelius, a search, screening and identity protection provider, was ramping up its contributions.

Six year-old Intelius gave nearly $210,000 to over a dozen local and national nonprofit organizations in 2008. With just 191 employees, 2008 contributions set a new corporate giving record for the company.

“Our country is facing an unprecedented number of people in need and we felt it was our responsibility to step up when the economy forced others to step back,” said Naveen Jain, co-founder and CEO of Intelius. “I am inspired by the amazing work done by the nonprofit groups we work with, and I want to instill that passion not only within Intelius, but as an example for others to follow.”

Groups who received 2008 gifts from Intelius include an eclectic mix of nonprofits supporting education, healthcare, youth and family issues.

One such organization is Hopelink, a nonprofit whose mission it is to help low-income people move to self-sufficiency.

“Despite the unusual and unfortunate economic challenges we’re all facing right now, Intelius continues to step forward in a spirit of generosity and compassion to enable others who are not as fortunate,” said Linda Benson, director of development for Hopelink. “As one of our major partners of our Reaching Out Luncheon and End Summer Hunger campaign, Intelius continues to lead the way for others to follow.”

Trish Carpenter, Director of Fundraising & Development, at Overlake Service League knows firsthand how vital the support of community members and corporations is to its programs serving children, families and seniors in need. Her organization, like many others, does not receive city, state or federal funding.

“Intelius stands out as a significant community partner of Overlake Service League because at all levels of the company they believe in and care about community. Intelius knows and understands that being involved can and does make a difference in lives,” said Carpenter.

“In addition to the important funding Intelius contributes to our organization, their employees and management have personally volunteered their time and energy at Overlake Service League projects in meaningful, hands on ways. The dedicated support and friendship of Intelius is vital and invaluable to us serving our mission.”

Intelius also has established a scholarship endowment program at the University of Washington. The endowment was created to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students in Business and Computer Science & Engineering. To date Intelius has contributed $170,000 to the endowment.

Other charitable partners for 2008 included Children’s Hospital, Treehouse, Bellevue Boys & Girls Club, Eastside Domestic Violence Program, and the Bellevue School Foundation.

For 2009, Intelius hopes to match or increase its contributions as a corporation while encouraging the giving spirit in its employees. In order to achieve this Intelius has developed programs to help employees own a personal stake in the philanthropic success of the company. These include:

* A corporate matching program. Employees can donate and Intelius will match up to $250 annually to a qualified charity of the employee’s choice.

* Paid volunteerism. Intelius will grant employees paid leave to volunteer with their favorite charities.

“Like any company we want to be financially successful, but more important than that — we never want to lose sight of our core values and the understanding that we are only as good and productive as the communities we do business in,” said Jain. “It is with this knowledge that we work every day to be the best neighbors we can be.”

For Jain giving back doesn’t stop at a corporate level, he and his wife, Anu, have donated an estimated $1 million to charity in the last two years.

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