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Marco Donates to Clients Through Foundation Rebate Program

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May 01, 2018
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (05/01/18) – Marco started a unique program of charitable giving in 2011, donating over $1.6 million ($1,671,097.00) to nonprofits so far. The program began with an intent to create lasting, positive relationships with customers and serve local communities. As part of this charitable initiative, CEO Jeff Gau and Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Warrey created the Foundation Rebate Program. “Other companies were rebating back to purchasing departments, but Jeff wanted to give the rebates as a charitable contribution instead of a discount,” Warrey explained.

The Foundation Rebate program rewards nonprofit customers for their loyalty by offering them a 1.5% rebate based on their annual sales with Marco. This year, Marco donated $338,000 to group members.

Warrey believes the program is beneficial for all involved. “It makes me proud to see a sizeable donation come from the natural course of business. Universities, hospitals, corporate businesses with charitable causes—those are all great causes, and it’s a structured way to say, ‘yes we are going to give’ and calculate how we are going to give.”

Members of the program include Minnesota State University Moorhead (Minn.), Fargo Public Schools (N.D.), Concordia University (Minn.), Rapid City Regional Hospital (S.D.), Orion Associates (Minn.), CentraCare Health Systems (Minn.), NDSU Foundation Alumni Association (N.D.), and more. Each organization uses the donation funds effectively. Some choose to support volunteer engagements, host fund-raising events, or establish scholarships.

For example, colleges use the funds to assist students during their educational journeys. Dr. Eric LaMott, Concordia University’s Provost and Chief Operating Officer, feels thankful for this unique partnership. “Concordia University, Saint Paul is proud to partner with Marco to fill our needs in the networking, print and mail sectors. To CSP, the Marco relationship is a cooperative partnership model to serve our learners’ needs, rather than a vendor client relationship. Truly a differentiation for us!" said LaMott.

Likewise, Naomi Quiram of Gustavus Adolphus values Marco’s help. “Gustavus Adolphus College truly appreciates the Marco Foundation's support and its commitment to our partnership and our community. The gifts support our scholarship endowment and our goal to equip students to lead purposeful lives and to act on the great challenges of our time through an innovative liberal arts education of recognized excellence,” said Quiram, Director of Print and Mail Services at Gustavus.

Paul Kozak, Director of ITS Acquisitions and Budgets at University of St. Thomas, agrees that the funds make a difference. “When we receive a foundation check from Marco, it shows that Marco understands partnership—not only to a customer, but the community. The check goes directly to a scholarship fund created in the name of a long-time St. Thomas employee who had a strong tie to students and student workers. The contributions from Marco have provided enough funds over the years to provide a scholarship each year to an ITS student worker and make a real difference in that student’s life,” Kozak said.

“The charitable foundation employees love having Marco donate just because their organizations do business with us. They love Marco’s commitment to giving to worthy causes,” said Warrey.

Warrey explained that certain criteria must be met to enter the Foundation Rebate Program. “You need consistent business with us to make it a meaningful contribution. We take a gross margin deduction. The program creates a good will that it is part of living out our culture to give back to the communities we serve.” Organizations must be invited to enter this selective program.

Marco makes charitable giving a priority, believing that doing well in business means “doing good” for the communities the company serves. Therefore, Marco contributes financially, sponsors events, participates in fundraisers and encourages employees to volunteer on and off company time.

“This program makes you proud to be part of Marco,” Warrey added.
Loni Jacobsen