PEOs in the Community
The Nextep Charitable Foundation
Just over a year ago, Brian Fayak and his team at Nextep founded a nonprofit organization to facilitate the company’s long history of serving its community. The Nextep Charitable Foundation represents a deep commitment to helping others that runs through the company’s culture and its people.
“Nextep is fortunate to be in a position to give back and make an impact on people’s lives,” says Fayak, founder and CEO of the Norman, Oklahoma-based PEO. “We want to dedicate our time, dollars, and expertise to organizations that better our communities and the people in them.”
Nextep certainly lives out that philosophy. The company adopted the Pledge 1 percent movement’s model to create its own 1:1:1 (service, donations, expertise) model. Since January 2018, the foundation donated more than $100,000 and Nextep employees surpassed the company’s goal of 1,000 community service hours. Nextep tracks these philanthropic metrics and keeps employees apprised of the progress towards their goals just as they do with sales numbers. It reinforces how important serving the community is to the company’s mission.
At Nextep, philanthropy is a company-wide goal. A committee of employee volunteers decides which organizations the foundation supports and every employee has the opportunity to make recommendations. The next generation of Nextep even gets a say. Employee’s children can participate in “Dollars for Grades,” a program that rewards good grades by making charitable contributions to an organization of the student’s choice.
Each month, the committee arranges a volunteer opportunity for employees. This year, Nextep held its first annual “Nextep Gives Back Day.” Employees signed up for half-day shifts and the company provided transportation to and from various local charities where they volunteered. The event was a huge success, which led to plans for a second day of service in the fall.
Among the many local organizations Nextep supports is Bridges. This nonprofit aims to mentor and guide high school students who might be struggling with difficult family situations. The goal is to help these students graduate from high school and make good decisions about their futures. In addition to monetary contributions, some Nextep employees have even taught life-skills courses.
The Women’s Resource Center in Norman, Oklahoma, is also a beneficiary of Nextep’s generosity. Last year, the foundation provided funds for the organization to purchase a storm cellar for those in the center to use during Oklahoma’s storm season.
Food banks, Ronald McDonald Houses, and countless other well-deserving charities have benefited from Nextep’s commitment to serving others. Fayak believes that part of creating a great company for his employees is allowing them a chance to give back. To that end, each employee earns eight hours of paid leave per year to be used for volunteer hours away from the office.
A commitment to service and empowering others is a core philosophy of Nextep’s culture. Throughout the entire company, employees work every day not just to serve their clients, but to improve people’s lives.
Chris Chaney is member communications manager for NAPEO, Alexandria, Virginia.
Nextep staff working for the Women’s Resource Center Storm Shelter.
Nextep staff helping the regional food bank.