Corporate philanthropy has been part of the Chesapeake Public Strategies business model since its founding in 2006. That corporate culture starts at the top with President and CEO Ellen Coren.
Chesapeake regularly lends its expertise in government affairs, media relations, grassroots organizing and social media to nonprofits who need help in reaching their constituencies, expanding their support network and executing their missions.
“There are a number of nonprofits that seek out our advice on a number of things, whether it be social media or a development campaign or trying to connect with key elected officials,” Coren said.
Pro-bono work and volunteer contributions make up a significant portion of Chesapeake’s support. Along with direct donations, that support regularly amounts to around 15 percent of the company’s annual revenue.
Coren is particularly dedicated to Sulam, an educational nonprofit serving children with diverse learning needs. Coren serves on the Sulam board, working specifically on government issues. Though the organization is not well-known, the board is hoping to grow awareness.
“They are working on improving governance,” Coren said. “[We’re] helping them with making connections to leaders in the community. [We’ve] had council members tour the facility. Ultimately, they would like to get involved in the grant process, obtaining local government grants.”
Chesapeake Public Strategies implemented its 10 Powerful Acts of Kindness program last year. In celebration of the company’s 10-year anniversary, the program is a means of giving back to the community, providing custom pro-bono services and donations to nonprofits that serve children in need. In addition, the company partnered with Nonprofit Montgomery and Nonprofit Village to hold free seminars on strategic nonprofit advocacy.
The dedication is starting to speak for itself. Chesapeake Public Strategies won 2016 Maryland Business Philanthropy Award (Small Business category) presented by the Baltimore Business Journal and the Maryland Chamber of Commerce.