Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia Honoree Spotlight: Holman Enterprises

GPCVC Member and Civic 50 Honoree Holman Enterprises:


Describe the main initiative(s) of your CSR program:

It has been important to the Holman family since the company’s founding that Holman Enterprises be an engaged corporate neighbor. That is seen most clearly in its charitable giving, through which it now makes gifts of more than $3.2M annually to charitable causes in all regions where Holman employees live and work. Half of the company’s philanthropy encompasses the broad range of charitable concerns of its people: animal welfare, children and families, disadvantaged populations, those with special needs, veterans, and many others. The other half focuses on bringing basic human needs to low-income communities. Part of this focus is Holman’s Impact Grants program, founded in 2019, through which it makes commitments of $300,000 paid over three years. Local recipients include Cathedral Kitchen, Hopeworks, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, and LUCY Outreach.

Employees are engaged through robust volunteer programing, most notably the company’s Days of Caring in October. In the Philadelphia region, this takes the shape of fifty different volunteer opportunities with 33 nonprofit partners throughout the month. This outreach occurs during Holman’s United Way workplace campaign, now in its seventh decade. Our people have demonstrated consistent generosity to the United Way, for the past eight years pledging more than $1M annually to help their most vulnerable neighbors. Holman also makes gifts to any charitable cause that is meaningful to an employee through its Employee Donation program; since its inception in 2014, the program has made over 1,300 gifts totaling $1M at the request of its people.

What are some of the key learning you gained, through participation in the Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia?

Applying to be part of the Civic 50 helped Holman to identify those parts of CSR that it did well, and highlight where we need to improve. In traditional measures of charitable giving and employee engagement Holman compares well to its peers in our region. But we also learned there were many ways to impact communities that are not cemented in our culture. Support from all C-suite executives for CSR is not be as broad as it should be; further, few use their platforms to speak on important societal issues. In DE & I we were followers rather than leaders, and have not implemented effective ways to listen to stakeholders in our communities. There is not even a single, comprehensive policy that assists every employee in every operation nationwide to volunteer. But without recognizing opportunities, Holman cannot be a better practitioner of the family’s vision of being a force for wider good.

What would you share with a company that is debating whether to take the Civic 50 Greater Philadelphia next year?

Improvement in any space is impossible without first understanding strengths and limitations. For us, the Civic 50 process provided an effective way to think critically about what it means to have an impactful CSR program, and to measure ourselves against what other businesses are doing in this sphere. It provided us with new ways of imagining and assessing what compelling CSR could look like. Whether a business is considering implementing a CSR strategy or wants to improve what it may already do well, the Civic 50 is a potent tool to achieve those ends.