Ask any entrepreneur, business owner and CEO the primary reason why they’re in business and chances are most of them will give the same natural, logical answer: To make money. Making money, after all, is a necessary part of the equation: We all have to earn a living; we have employees and families to support; we have a company infrastructure to sustain. And we have to make sure the doors stay open tomorrow. All in all, it’s a great reason.
There are some other reasons, though, that are just as good: Doing good and giving back. For a long time now, companies have been focusing on the broader impact of their businesses upon their communities, and the significance of considerations other than just their bottom lines. Businesses are recognizing the power for transformation that accompanies success, and how that power – when properly applied – can not only benefit society, but can enhance their own overall success and prospects for long-term survival. Providing strategically placed support to selected nonprofit organizations and charities can do precisely that.
Trion Solutions is privileged to provide our support for one organization that we consider extraordinarily special, and whose positive impact upon the surrounding community and upon the lives of those it works with seem almost incalculable: Rochester, Michigan’s Dutton Farm.
From the outside, Dutton Farm looks to be a typical traditional American farm. Inside, it is anything but typical. Dutton Farm is working to create opportunities, build skills, and generate acceptance for differently-abled clients by providing them with training and meaningful work, and helping them transition to paying jobs in the community. The Dutton Farm mission is “to celebrate, educate, and employ people with special needs,” which it fulfills by progressing differently-abled individuals through a coordinated five-stage program.
The farm is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, but a business sensibility guides its activities. Individuals with differing mental and physical abilities participate in an ordered series of discrete programs which gradually help them to develop the essential social and practical skills needed to gain and keep meaningful employment, helping them to lead more fulfilled and independent lives.
Dutton Farm’s CEO and Founder Jenny Brown had a highly personal motivation for establishing the organization – her desire to support her older sister with Down syndrome. Through her work with differently-abled people at a variety of area organizations, Brown understood the tremendous need for the services Dutton Farm would provide, and understood the obstacles – logistical, social, and cultural – that stood between differently abled individuals and the jobs, independence, and acceptance they longed for.
Today, Dutton Farm program participants are gainfully employed in area retailers, restaurants, manufacturing facilities and other businesses, as well as on the farm itself. More people are progressing through its programs, preparing to join them. And the Dutton Farm organization is making a substantial impact, not only by changing the lives and fortunes of program participants but by changing attitudes, dismantling prejudices, and opening up new opportunities in the wider world.
Trion Solutions’ support for Dutton Farm may help them, but it likely enriches our company to an equal or greater degree. By applying our resources and efforts on behalf of an organization that is a tremendous force for good, we enhance our own reason for being and increase our own positive impact upon our community and the world. Support for an organization like Dutton Farm enables companies like ours to strengthen our internal culture, and to establish a shared commitment to ensuring that our ultimate impact is a positive, beneficial one.
We are happy to be a “for-profit” organization, but happier still to be “for profit with purpose.” Our good fortune in working with a superb organization like Dutton Farm helps us be just that.