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Giving Back With Company-Sponsored Passion Projects

Gone are the days when donations are all about the tax break


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There’s no denying that giving back is a feel-good thing to do, but charitable initiatives can have a greater impact on businesses than you may think.

Gone are the days when donations are all about the tax break. According to Forbes, millennials – who will make up almost half of the working population by 2020 – value company culture more than any previous generation. In fact, a brand’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs help develop culture and overall positive brand initiatives. With the research to back it, it seems like a no-brainer that companies should look to develop these value-driven programs so their philanthropic efforts grow even deeper roots.

A passion project is a trendy name for doing something that excites and inspires. People do these activities for personal fulfillment, not anybody else’s. It piques curiosity and spurs energy. Passion projects are about fostering wellbeing by doing something that lights you up.

Passion projects are about freedom too – there are no rules about what a this should look like.

The way to find a passion is simple:

Be curious – nonjudgmental about what interests or causes may come to the surface.

Along with the obvious benefits, a passion project may help you learn new skills, meet new people, contribute to a current career or, perhaps, develop a new one. But even in the rare case that those extra benefits don’t occur, the inspiration, sense of satisfaction and meaning the project provides will carry over into other areas of life in positive ways.

At Choozle, a Denver-based advertising technology company, passion projects have been folded into the company’s charitable initiatives. Having the core value of balance creates space for the team to stay healthy, find commitment within the community, and support to pursue passions. This value is an anchor and a nice reminder to keep things in perspective. What is learned and cultivated outside the office with these passion projects certainly translates to a stronger, happier and more efficient workplace.

A few of Choozle’s team-wide passion projects include:

  • Harvesting Hope 5K: A Thanksgiving Day race based in Stapleton, which benefits the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. The Harvesting Hope 5K is the only race in the state that promotes awareness of PWS and childhood obesity – a matter of heavy focus and medical research here in Colorado. 
  • CHOOZLECARES: A community grant program that is provided to Colorado nonprofits for a month-long advertising campaign run by the Choozle team. Choozle facilitates the full advertising campaign: designing creative assets, creating target audiences, implementing advertising strategies, and optimizing the campaigns, so that the nonprofits can focus on continuing their charitable work.
  • PLAYING IT FORWARD: a charitable doubles ping-pong tournament for the Denver advertising community, where proceeds are donated to the Good Samaritan House.

Companies that emphasize passion projects and charitable initiatives might notice a boost in morale, particularly if employees value giving back to the community. More than quarterly, company-sponsored volunteer days with more substantive projects not only creates a culture of giving but also supports work-life balance. 


Megan Sullivan-Jenks is Director of Marketing & Communications at Choozle – Easy Digital Advertising®. She executes marketing and advertising strategies for the company with a keen eye on engagement and ROI. From nonprofits and emergency services to consumer goods and software, Sullivan-Jenks has helped brands create online and offline marketing strategies that are engaging and memorable. 

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