Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas employees volunteer at Camp Cartwheel, hosted by the Nevada Childhood Cancer Foundation for local children battling disease.
When you think of competitive and ambitious brands, love, respect and “delivering happiness to all” are not the first words that come to mind. Yet the automaker Subaru of America demonstrates that having these words at the heart of the business can make a great impact on profit margins and company reputation, as well as people and communities.
Global sales of Subaru vehicles continued to rise this year, led by steady growth in the U.S. market. Subaru of America recently reported 14 consecutive months of increased sales. Encouraging retailers to embrace its philanthropic and social impact mission, the Love Promise, Subaru of America says it aims to be “more than a car company” for its customers.
“The Subaru Love Promise is a way to show love and respect to everybody that we interact with,” said Burton Hughes, general manager at Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas, a retailer that won the Subaru Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award for six years in a row. “As we focus on being more than a car dealer, I believe that we've been able to model the Love Promise in a way that our team embraces it.”
The Love Promise Customer and Community Commitment Award is a national recognition given to Subaru retailers who consistently deliver exceptional customer experience while supporting causes in their local communities.
At Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas, retail managers say there’s no shortage of choices in their community. “There are so many great nonprofits out there, it's nearly an impossible decision,” said Jennifer Vitale, the retailer’s assistant general manager. “When we look at the opportunities to give back, we start evaluating them first with the five Love Promise pillars in mind, and we try to spread our support equally amongst them.” The five pillars of the Subaru Love Promise are environment, health, education, pets and community.
For larger organizations, thinking globally yet acting locally can help scale and balance nonprofit support, Hughes said. “An easy way to start giving back is to look at the local chapters of the national nonprofits your organization supports,” he suggested. "This often leads to multi-year partnerships.”
Retailers like Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas also look to support smaller, locally-led nonprofits alongside the local chapters of national groups like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and AdoptAClassroom.org. “We also love the charities that are operating in the shadows that may not have national support,” Hughes said. "At the level that we can engage with them, it may make the difference of whether they still exist tomorrow.”
This year, Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas received the most prestigious award a retailer can receive from Subaru of America, the 2023 Subaru Love Promise Retailer of the Year Award.
The retailer has donated more than $1 million to local nonprofits since 2021, supporting over 50 organizations that include the mental health initiative Hope Means Nevada, the animal rescue organization Hearts Alive Village, the tree-planting program Go Green for Good Health, and the service and therapy dog provider Michael’s Angel Paws.
The automaker and its retailers also look to involve customers in giving back by facilitating donations via the sales process during the annual Subaru Share the Love Event. For example, with Hope Means Nevada, a nonprofit led by the Nevada Medical Center that is dedicated to improving mental health among Nevada teens, Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas allocated $50 for every vehicle purchased and $3 for every oil change during the campaign period. This resulted in a contribution of over $14,500 to Hope Means Nevada and also got customers involved in making a difference.
“Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas plays an essential role in our fight against the epidemic of youth suicide in Nevada,” said Julie Murray, co-chair of Hope Means Nevada. “With their ongoing support and donations, Hope Means Nevada is able to continue to raise awareness of Nevada’s high rates of mental health challenges and connect youth with desperately needed resources.”
The reputation of a company precedes its profitability, and establishing trust with people in the local community can lead to increased loyalty and sales. Managers at Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas have seen this firsthand. “I've seen many of our nonprofit partners, executive directors, and vice presidents come in who just want to buy a Subaru because of our support in the community,” Vitale said.
"I've also seen people who have been directly impacted by the nonprofits we support come in and buy a Subaru only because of our support to that nonprofit,” she continued. “For example, once I saw a lady with a dog that had a Michael’s Angel Paws vest on, and I assumed she was a volunteer for them. When I asked her, she said she wasn’t a volunteer but was buying a Subaru because of the support she got from Michael’s Angel Paws, because she had received her service dog from them.”
Michael’s Angel Paws is a Nevada-based organization that trains service and therapy support dogs for community members facing physical or emotional challenges. Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas has raised over $64,000 for the nonprofit so far, and its showroom is dog friendly. In addition, after 25 weeks and a cumulative 500 hours of training, some employees from the retailer certified their own pets as therapy dogs in order to bring them to volunteer efforts in the community.
Like other participating retailers, Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas also partners with TerraCycle to collect hard-to-recycle waste. “We have our own recycling at the showroom with TerraCycle boxes. We recycle cabin air filters and plastic wrappers,” Vitale said. Retailers across the U.S. have collected more than 10 million pieces of hard-to-recycle waste as part of the Subaru Loves the Earth initiative since 2018.
Along with customer loyalty, research shows that being a responsible business has a positive impact on staff retention. Employees in an organization that is driven by corporate social responsibility are often aligned with a bigger mission that motivates them to stay longer, reducing the costs and disruption of recruitment and retraining.
“The cool thing is, as we've expanded and done more in the community, our employees are very much engaged and keen to volunteer their time,” Vitale said.
Partners like Christy Stevens, executive director of Hearts Alive Village Las Vegas, a shelter and veterinary center for dogs, cats and barnyard animals, are also reaping the benefits. “The Findlay Subaru of Las Vegas Team is a shining example of how to care about the community where you do business,” Stevens said.
This article series is sponsored by Subaru and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team.
Images courtesy of Subaru
Abha Malpani Naismith is a writer and communications professional who works towards helping businesses grow in Dubai. She is a strong believer in the triple bottom line and keen to make a difference. She is also a new mum, trying to work out a balance between thriving at work and being a mum. In her endeavor to do that, she founded the Working Mums Club, a newsletter for mums who want to build better careers and be better mums.
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