Faegre & Benson LLP was recognized for its exceptional corporate giving program—including charitable gifts, pro bono legal work and community service—by the Minneapolis Keystone Program of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce. In a luncheon ceremony at the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency Hotel on December 4, the firm received the 2008 Minnesota Keystone Program Honored Company Award.
Each year, the Keystone Program recognizes three companies known for their long-standing commitment to community giving and the high quality of their giving programs. The program's Honored Company Award is given to one small company (fewer than 76 employees), one medium-sized company (76-499 employees) and one large company (500+ employees). Faegre & Benson was recognized in the large company category.
The law firm was recognized for its innovative, integrated model of corporate giving, which includes three distinct elements: (1) charitable donations through the Faegre & Benson Foundation, which was established by the law firm in 1993 to continue the firm's longstanding philanthropic activities; (2) pro bono legal services, delivered by firm volunteers primarily to disadvantaged and low-income clients or to nonprofit organizations which serve vulnerable or low-income populations; and (3) an organized program of active employee volunteerism through firm-sponsored community service projects. A video presentation at the awards ceremony highlighted the model and the firm's recent contributions to the community.
The firm's annual giving level through the Keystone Program is five percent, which includes charitable donations equal to at least two percent of the firm's earnings, and pro bono legal services exceeding three percent of the firm's billable hours.
"We are privileged to live in a vibrant and prosperous community, to have meaningful work and secure neighborhoods in which to live," said Thomas G. Morgan, chair of the firm's management committee. "And with this prosperity, we feel an obligation—and a desire—to nurture the community that supports our well-being and that contributes to the success of our business."
More than 30 years ago, 23 Minnesota companies created the Keystone Program (originally known as "The 5% Club") to recognize and encourage charitable giving and to set an example for their business colleagues. The program recognizes and honors companies that donate at least two percent of their pre-tax earnings to the community. The commitment of Keystone participants continues to sustain Minnesota's spirit of generosity and sense of community, two qualities which underlie the state's reputation for a high quality of life.