How One Samsung Employee Raised $16K for his Charity of Choice
Meet Gary Koven: Senior Sales Manager at Samsung Electronics America and a budding philanthropist. Last year, Koven raised over $16,000 for Quality Services for the Autism Community (QSAC), a not-for-profit organization that has supported people with autism and their families for over three decades. Inspired by his mother, a QSAC volunteer board member, Koven got involved with the organization six years ago. “She shared with me that QSAC had fundraising activities and I absolutely jumped on it,” he said. When Koven joined Samsung in early 2017, he was delighted to find that the company shared his devotion to the spirit of giving.
In fact, Samsung was already a supporter of QSAC. “My involvement predates working at Samsung and it’s an amazing coincidence that Samsung also supports QSAC,” he said. “It’s a great thing when the company you work for supports a charity that’s so important to you.” Koven said that Samsung has been hugely supportive. “We think it’s important that we give to our community and we take our time, our effort and our money and do good things with it – to strengthen our community,” he explained. Raising the money was no easy feat. So, how’d he do it?
“The way we do it is really a team effort. I work with a very good friend and together we rally the team. The team is all of our network – our friends, family and who they connect with,” said Koven.
Still, the difficulty of fundraising is not lost on him. Koven admits that last minute donation cancellations and forgotten pledges are inevitable, yet he and his team persevered.
“We continue to reach out over and over and over again. People will tell you, ‘Yes, I’m going to make a donation,’ but it takes multiple efforts to finally get them to take the time,” he explained. “The more people you have reaching out to raise money, the more successful it is.”
This is why, he emphasizes, the importance of word-of-mouth and personal encouragement from friends, coworkers and family is the key to successful fundraising for important causes. It’s also one of the reasons he chooses to volunteer at QSAC’s school in the Bronx for Samsung’s Day of Service every year when the company closes its operations for a day across U.S. offices to get out in the community and give back. “Through Day of Service I have the opportunity to meet other Samsung employees who are also now supporting QSAC,” Koven said. At Samsung, he says “There is a spirit of giving among my colleagues.”
The $16,000 Koven and his team, including other Samsung employees, helped raise will support QSAC’s programs for children and adults with autism. The funds will have a significant impact on special initiatives, namely a new specialized preschool in the Bronx, due to open in spring 2019.
Koven and QSAC are already preparing for next year’s Bowl-A-Thon and looks forward to Samsung’s ongoing support. “I’m incredibly thrilled to be part of an organization that has a day of service as part of its culture, as well as matching donations to charities,” he explained. “Samsung is a generous company that cares about the community.”