Most Impactful Philanthropic Company

Scholastic Corporation, between its 14 international offices, is the largest publisher and distributer of children’s books in the world, and the Jefferson City distribution facility makes that all possible by fulfilling 20 million orders and shipping 160 million books each year. While Scholastic has an international reach, they also continue to give generously at the local level to Jefferson City and surrounding communities.

Scholastic is one of the top-giving companies to the United Way of Central Missouri annually. Scholastic employees embody what it means to give, including stepping up to energize United Way rallies and events to bolster donations. At one of the rallies, an employee shared how their life had positively been changed as a child with new eyeglasses made possible through a United Way agency. This employee wanted to pay it forward with their ongoing donations. You could feel the impact in the room.

“Our employees and the people we serve are relational to the needs,” says Heath Garvin, senior vice president of supply chain distribution and customer service at Scholastic. “This workforce is entirely focused on children, which is why we focus on the United Way and the services they provide kids in this community.”

While annual employee fundraising has the potential to get stagnant, Lori Massman, Scholastic’s community development manager, brings the inspiration and fun to the campaign giving for employees. She also works hard to bring the United Way agencies in to talk to employees at the rallies, so they can hear directly from agencies on the impact of their giving. Massman also served as the United Way community campaign co-chair for two years, providing a unique glimpse into how this community is helped through generous giving.

“The interaction with the community, including visiting hundreds of businesses, was a great experience, and we heard so many stories. It definitely reaffirmed why I do what I do,” says Massman.

In addition to United Way fundraising, Scholastic provides their employees with a paid volunteer program for donating their services. The company is also a Partner in Education with several local schools, including Southwest Early Childhood Center, Lawson Elementary, Belair Elementary, Parents as Teachers, St. Martin’s, Lighthouse Preparatory Academy, and Special Learning Center. Scholastic also donates thousands of books each year to local schools and organizations.

“Helping the community as a whole is part of our mission,” says Tammy Chute, Scholastic’s vice president of human resources. “Our customers are worldwide, so increasing our profit margin has nothing to do with our community giving. It’s all in the spirit of giving.”

For the past few years, Scholastic has been among the top three workplace contributors for the United Way, and this year they’ll place second in the United Way community campaign — but they’re keeping their eye on the No. 1 spot in 2019. With such generous employees, they believe they’ll reach their goal.

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