h3. Corporate philanthropy has been allowed to wither during recession, says Stevies Gold Award winner

The Wall Street CEO of the company that has won the Gold ‘Stevie’ American Business Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year has called on U.S. companies to embrace the CSR approach.

Joshua Gould, CEO and EVP of thebigword Inc., the language translation and interpretation company with offices in New York and San Francisco, stepped up to collect the Gold trophy at the Stevies’ annual awards event in Chicago this week.

The company won the top award for a CSR/Sustainability campaign that, in the past year, has included:

  • Supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)with American Sign Language interpreters during Hurricane Sandy and donating much of the revenue to charities associated with the deaf and visually impaired;
  • Giving every member of staff two days’ paid leave to volunteer in local community projects;
  • Devising a Christmas campaign that donated 2.5 cents for every minute of telephonic interpreting it carried out to a charity of its staff’s choice;
  • Translating free of charge documents that helped German and Polish citizens who had assisted Jews during the holocaust get compensation for their bravery.

thebigword Inc. is the sister company of thebigword, one of the world’s most successful companies in the language services sector.  Set up in New York in 2007, thebigword Inc. has grown to a $30 million turnover and employs 50 staff.  Aged 29, Joshua Gould is one of a new breed of young CEOs who believe that people want to work for – and companies want to buy from – an organization that has a real social conscience.

Joshua Gould says:  “It’s a tremendous achievement for a relatively small, relatively new company to win one of America’s top business awards.  In some respects, that shouldn’t be possible but I believe that corporate giving has been allowed to wither during the recession.  The words ‘corporate’ and ‘social responsibility’ have become a contradiction in terms.  We need to re-ignite the spirit of philanthropy that has always been so strong in U.S. companies.”

“We believe that thebigword Inc. has developed a culture of corporate social responsibility with a range of company-led and employee-led initiatives that truly make a difference,” said Gould.