Business Stories Aug 20, 2013

Talk to Dawn McGeachy about B1G1 and she’s likely to get a bit emotional. And that’s rare — you don’t often think of accountants as people who wear their emotions on their sleeves.

Dawn’s one of the Partners at Ascend LLP an independent member firm of Porter Hetu International in Canada. And she’d been grappling with a desire to make a greater impact upon the world through giving, without knowing how she could ever make this happen.

Then in June 2012, she attended the AICPA Conference in Las Vegas. “I had the privilege of attending Paul Dunn’s session there,” Dawn told us. “I was captivated by the story of B1G1 and the concept of giving each time you have a sale or provide a service.”

“When I saw the presentation it moved me to tears and still does every time I talk about B1G1 with someone. I no longer feel powerless because with each passing week, each passing month, and going forward into the many years we hope to enjoy participation, I can see how our giving will change so many people’s lives – and that is a wonderful feeling.”

Dawn’s firm is based in Ottawa, Ontario and they’ve now become a B1G1 Lifetime Partner. “I was raised in a family that subscribes to a philosophy of giving,” Dawn continued.

“We recognise that money is a means by which we exchange goods and services, but it is not a motivator and it does not provide you with complete satisfaction. Connecting with others and sharing your talents is how you achieve fulfillment in your life.”

The team at Colby McGeachy particularly likes the B1G1 widget that tracks their giving impact. It gives them immediate feedback in each of the donation categories. It also allows them to set goals for the team, and they can watch as each of their targets is attained.

Reaction from the accounting firm’s clients was immediate.

Dawn summed it up with one word: “Tremendous! We provide our corporate clients with a certificate that they can frame and display within their organizations, and they are thrilled to receive these. The most powerful reactions have been from clients who are so touched to hear about B1G1, and they feel great when they learn that because they work with us, we give on their behalf to B1G1 projects. The clients appreciate that we are committed to making a positive change in the world, and they tell us that it makes them feel good about themselves.”

For smaller accounts, Colby McGeachy provides ‘postcards of thanks’ that provide details of the particular giving made. The company also has a special focus on youth, because they appreciate the importance of impacting people at an early stage in their lives and setting them up for success, and they support this agenda through a number of local programs, such as high school bursaries and participation with Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

“But our greatest joy,” Dawn says with her trademark enthusiasm, “comes from selecting B1G1 projects such as providing vitamins, medicine, clean water, and food to children, and supporting their education by providing uniforms and paying for teachers. And best of all we know that 100% of each dollar is directly forwarded to each of the organizations!”

“Without our involvement in B1G1, we would not be able to genuinely connect and exchange with our clients in this way. I just love the fact that B1G1 provides us this opportunity!”


Ted Schellenberg

Ted is a warm-hearted journalist caring most about all the great stories from B1G1 Members. Ted’s stories always get to the heart of what B1G1 is about.

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