Building Community Ambassadors
We empower our people at all levels to get involved with societal causes and follow their passion for helping others. We encourage them to contribute to social innovation projects in their countries, to volunteer in their communities, and to use their skills on nonprofit boards. We make it possible to take time off to contribute to societal causes. In addition, we aim to be a good firm in terms of our business practices, governance, and environmental responsibility and how we care for our people. As a firm that serves clients, we help a wide range of organizations improve their performance. We are also committed to social impact through the way we run our firm.
Art Builds. Art Questions. Art Transcends Borders.
Creativity is a source of innovation and progress. Art spawns new ideas for shaping our future. It inspires people, opens new perspectives, and enables the embrace of unusual and innovative solutions. The arts occupy many roles and serve many functions for businesses, governments, museums, families, and artists across the globe. Part of our philosophy is a belief that creativity, dedication, and discipline can lead to outstanding achievement. This is why we are committed to art and to encouraging and engaging performing artist.
The Burk family tradition of collecting art is continued by the current generation and, through the Burk Foundation, an active acquisitions policy allows the art collection to continue to grow, with both historic and contemporary pieces in the Foundation’s collection.
A Global Compact on Learning: Taking Action on Education in Developing Countries
Today’s youth face many challenges. About two-hundred million young people live in poverty. More than twenty million are unable to read and write. And close to thirty million are unemployed. Social innovation is about applying new approaches, refining existing practices, and bringing powerful tools to bear in solving the world’s most pressing social challenges. We recognize that when we collaborate with some of the world’s most ambitious organizations, we can multiply our impact in areas ranging from economic development to poverty alleviation. We have partnerships with a number of like-minded organizations and leaders who are eager to help drive global change and impact.
We are a values-driven organization. Our policies reflect our respect for human rights, labor rights, and freedom of association and are consistent with the ten universal principles of the United Nations Global Compact. Through our company partnership with the United Nations Human Rights and Natural Disasters initiative, we are helping to identify the world’s most promising social innovation entrepreneurs and give them access to invaluable global business networks that will further their platform. We work with a wide range of investment partners to help make microfinance—particularly savings accounts—widely accessible to economically disadvantaged people throughout the developing world. Our work seeks to harness the power of collaboration among businesses, governments, nonprofits, and social enterprises to address these challenges more effectively and on a wider scale.
We Remember September 11, 2001
Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. It means "bouncing back" from difficult experiences. Research has shown that resilience is ordinary, not extraordinary. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. People commonly demonstrate resilience. One example is the response of many Americans to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and individuals' efforts to rebuild their lives.We are a sponsor of Project Rebirth, a documentary that captures in images and sounds the rebuilding at Ground Zero where the World Trade Center formerly stood. Project Rebirth creates scalable and measurable programs that facilitate healing, foster hope and build resilience.
In-Search of a Sustainable Future
The challenges of sustainable development are complex, daunting, and cross all boundaries. Often resources such as clean air, clean water in rivers and ocean fisheries are used for short-term interest inways that damage or destroy them for future generations. Pessimists believe that growth and sustainability are at odds with one another; we think economic growth and sustainability are closely aligned. Over the past decade, we have sought to develop an authoritative fact base and analytical tools that enable sound decision making that takes into consideration both economics and the environment. In doing so, our work has enabled business and consumers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, make more efficient use of resources and protect precious natural environments.
We serve private, public, and social sector clients across the world on steps they are taking to address climate change. As a firm, we support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote global security. We also take steps to reduce the impact of our own operations on the natural environment.
Burk Family Endowment
The Burk Family longstanding commitment to philanthropy dates back to the 19th century. Each generation has upheld a tradition of giving, supporting the social needs and artistic tendencies of their time that span from housing and healthcare to the arts and education. We honor the family legacy as we continue to build programs in support of inspiring hope and changing people’s lives. We support a wide variety of charitable activities within our areas of interest through contributions and grants.
We are committed to supporting social organizations through access to our firm’s resources and convening power to meet the challenges that stand between societies and more stable, prosperous, and inclusive communities—both because it is our responsibility and because it is in the interests of our clients and employees. We offer a grant application program that is based on carefully defined criteria. These programs convene partnerships to co-create methodologies and apply our firm’s management expertise to shape powerful approaches.
We provide expertise and support to a wide range of philanthropic, civic, and cultural organizations that work on these issues and have partnered closely with nongovernmental organizations at both a global and local level through diverse charitable activities. Three programs—Democratic Practice, Peacebuilding, and Sustainable Development—are fields of work that are issues of enduring global concern. These thematic programs identify places where breakthroughs are needed or opportunities to contribute to global progress are particularly compelling. They typically maintain a focus on the United States along with work internationally to strengthen the vitality of democracy, secure just and durable peace, and advance solutions to climate change. Two pivotal place programs— China and the Western Balkans—pursue program goals in our fields of interest as appropriate to these specific contexts. They aim to build local capacity and generate lessons and innovations of significance to their immediate regions and beyond.
The Burk Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by our firm, designed to develop innovative approaches to complex social challenges. It is a separate 501(c)(3) that houses programs focusing on a single issue.