Community Engagement

We’re invested in our local communities all over the world, from the William Blair Foundation to the collective time and energy that our colleagues contribute.

Careers - community impactBeing active in our communities is a part of our culture. From helping students pursue their college dreams in Chicago to collecting winter coats for neighbors in need in London to fundraising for arts education in San Francisco schools, we care about our communities.

We're ranked as a Top 25 Corporate Citizen for our support of the United Way. The William Blair Foundation contributes to more than 200 organizations; our colleagues personally contribute to hundreds more with their time, energy, and leadership.

Learn more about William Blair's community engagement

San Francisco team members recently volunteered at the SF-Marin Food Bank warehouse. Employees sorted and arranged food donations that were distributed to food pantries throughout the local area.

SF-Marin Food Bank’s mission is to end hunger in San Francisco and Marin. With one in four people in San Francisco County food insecure, the Food Bank is a vital lifeline for people in need of food assistance. In 2014, 225,000 people were nourished through the program with 107,000 meals worth of food distributed every day.

Learn more about the SF-Marin Food Bank

SF-Marin Food Bank   SF-Marin Food Bank  SF-Marin Food Bank

William Blair & Company recently hosted 30 high school students from Midtown Center for Boys and Metro Achievement Center for Girls for a half-day career seminar.

The event focused on teaching the students about the core business activities of an investment banking and asset management firm, as well as providing the students with practical advice to help them prepare for college and future careers. The day included presentations on "Creating a Personal Brand," "The Importance of Internships," and "Top Ten Interview Tips."

One of the day's highlights was a trip William Blair's equity trading floor to watch the traders in action. George Busse and Mike Meitus of William Blair's institutional equity sales and trading group talked to the students about the skills required to become a broker or a trader.

The seminar concluded with a luncheon panel discussion featuring William Blair employees from across the firm's marketing, meeting services, private wealth management, and equity research departments. The panelists shared lessons that they have learned from throughout their careers and talked about what eventually led them on their career paths.

The panel was fun for the students and the panelists, alike. Jeanne Enright, the head of William Blair's brand marketing and communications group, moderated the panel and said that the students' enthusiasm was "contagious."

"We had fun sharing stories about our first jobs and people who have helped us along the way," Enright said. "I think we enjoyed the session as much as the students did."

Panelist Ryan DeVore, the director of William Blair's Private Client Advisors group, added: "It is energizing and fortunate for our firm to have the opportunity to embrace the enthusiasm, excitement, and youthfulness of the talented students from Midtown and Metro. Moreover, it is incredibly valuable for these students to have the exposure and visibility to so many of our terrific professionals. This is a very successful partnership."

William Blair's support of Midtown Educational Foundation, which comprises both Midtown Center for Boys and Metro Achievement Center for Girls, is part of a two-year partnership that runs through 2015. As part of the partnership, William Blair is funding a new computer lab and other technology upgrades across the organization's after-school centers.

"Knowing that we're helping these students get the full value from the summertime and after-school educational programs at Metro and Midtown is one of the soundest investments we could make," said William Blair CFO Jon Zindel at a ceremony this summer to dedicate the new computer lab.

Midtown Students Visit William Blair to Learn About Building a Career  Midtown Students Visit William Blair to Learn About Building a Career  Midtown Students Visit William Blair to Learn About Building a Career

William Blair is sponsoring 48 Chicago high school students from OneGoal's "Class of 2018" as they work toward achieving their dreams of graduating from college. OneGoal is an innovative, teacher-led college persistence program that is focused on helping underperforming high school students reach their full potential and graduate from college.

William Blair’s ongoing support of the Class of 2018 and their pursuit of their college dreams includes mentoring the students on the college application process, joining the students on a campus tour, volunteering alongside the students at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and hosting the students for a career day.

OneGoal  OneGoal

In January 2014, William Blair began a two-year partnership with the Music Institute of Chicago. The awarded grant will provide the resources for the Music Institute to deliver arts education residencies in two under-resourced CPS elementary schools (McNair Elementary and LEARN Elementary). These residencies will consist of classroom visits from MIC faculty and will be focused on using music to develop creativity while integrating music into the core curriculum areas such as language and science.

Volunteers from William Blair helped host Community Music Celebrations at each of the schools in the Spring of 2014 to celebrate music education in the schools’ neighborhoods. These fairs featured performances by professional musicians and gave students the opportunity to try out different instruments.

The Music Institute of Chicago (MIC) is one of the three largest and most respected community music schools in the country, setting national standards for excellence in music education. With a world-renowned faculty and exceptional creative arts therapy staff, MIC provides music education and clinical services to people of all ages and abilities across numerous inner-city sites.