Can you share a little bit about ECC and your mission?
Executive Council Charities is a 501(c)(3) Arizona nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping youth in our community. Our goal is to provide grants to programs and nonprofit organizations focused on helping youth in Arizona overcome adversity and reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
Founded in 1972, our 70 Active and over 350 Life Members have been assisting youth-based organizations for more than four decades and have raised more than $10 million in the past five years alone.
How did the group first become connected with BGCS?
The Boys and Girls Club has always been an organization that we’ve wanted to donate to and support. We were originally founded as part of the Boys and Girls Club movement before the group branched off and formed Executive Council Charities. Helping the club has always been a passion of ours and a natural launch point to focus on our current mission which is raising money for youth-based charities across Arizona.
What motivates ECC to continue to support BGCS?
We’ve always been connected to the club; it’s where ECC got its start. Many of our members also grew up in Boys and Girls Clubs, doing programs and events as kids. It’s a passion for us to give back and help grow the organization. Especially with the clubs being in and serving the communities where our members live and work.
How have you seen ECC’s philanthropy shape the organization?
We’ve been fortunate to work with the club and build many great relationships over the years. This has helped us to give back in a number of different ways. We’re currently in year five of a ten-year commitment to provide a total of $1.25 million to support the Executive Council Charities Teen Center at the Hartley & Ruth Barker Branch. During that time, we’ve been proud to see the Teen Center become one of the best in the country, led by the incredible Mr. Beethoven Felix.
ECC gives back through our volunteer work too. Our members are very passionate about not just fundraising for the club but also volunteering and working directly with the BGCS team. We do a Speaker Series throughout the year, where our members come in and discuss a career topic with the Teen Center members. We’ve had talks about construction, real estate, starting your own business, and a lot more. It’s important for us to share our knowledge and talk to the members about how having a vision and a career path can really motivate them to excel and do something outside the box.
As you look back, what has been ECC’s most proud accomplishment in their work with BGCS?
For us, it’s been the collaborative relationship and friendship that we’ve built with the executive team, the staff in the Barker Teen Center, and the organization as a whole. We’ve seen BGCS and the Teen Center grow, and that’s made us even more passionate to do the work we do to support the Club’s programs and endeavors. We feel like a part of the BGCS movement; we know we always have a warm welcome to come in, and we have. It’s a family environment and we’re proud of that connection.