Don Roth, CEO of AmpliVox Sound Systems, explains why his company actively supports non-profits in its local community and around the nation.
"What is the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" – Henry David Thoreau, Letter to H.G.O. Blake, 1860.
Thoreau’s observation is even truer in our day, when technology brings the world to our desktops and smartphones and decisions made in remote locations have tangible impacts on our daily lives. As a business owner, I constantly am reminded of the interdependence of my company, my customers, and my community as we experience the vacillation of an ever-changing world economy. I realized long ago that, for my company to thrive, I needed to find ways to support the community that in turn supports us.
Our company, AmpliVox Sound Systems, manufactures sound equipment and presentation furniture. From our facility in the Chicago suburbs, we provide lecterns, multimedia carts, portable sound systems, and emergency crowd management tools to a wide array of customers around the world. With so much variety in our line, we come into contact with all kinds of organizations that need our products and advice, from multinational corporations and major universities to high school sports teams, local governments, and neighborhood churches. Whatever the size of the customer, we strive to match the best products to their specific needs. That widespread network of satisfied customer relationships has built the AmpliVox brand into a respected player in the audio-video industry.
In building those relationships, we have always been mindful of opportunities to share our products and abilities with groups that serve the larger community. We are in a particularly good position to support a wide variety of organizations because, fundamentally, every group needs help delivering its message to a larger audience. I am a big believer in tangible donations that deliver long-term benefits for the recipient. While we could just write a company check to a charity – and of course, we write plenty of those – I find it especially satisfying to see donated AmpliVox products in use at fundraisers, educational events, or community organizations.
AmpliVox embarked on a large-scale version of this type of donation in 2010, when we launched the Pink Podium Promise cause marketing program to aid in the fight against breast cancer. The roots of the program are very close to home: my cousin, a breast cancer survivor, was participating in “pink” fundraising events and was looking for a lectern for her group. We came up with the idea of donating pink lecterns that could be used indoors and out for all kinds of advocacy and fundraising events, and reached out to local cancer groups, hospitals, and other organizations with the offer of a free podium. Four years later, hundreds of AmpliVox pink podiums have been delivered to groups all over the US, and even have been sent as far as Iraq for use by the US military in educational settings. We expanded the program to include pink megaphones, as well as blue lecterns for prostate cancer advocacy groups. These donations have had a positive impact on all the recipients, and also stand as a physical representation of AmpliVox’s commitment to these groups in their fight against cancer.
The success of the Pink Podium program has inspired us to find other non-profits that can put AmpliVox products to good use. This year, we sponsored Special Olympics of Illinois with a gift of portable sound systems called “Half Mile Hailers” to 18 local Special Olympics groups. These powerful sound systems were quickly put to use in major events, including a “Rubber Duck Race” fundraiser on the Chicago River with thousands of people in attendance as well as the annual State Summer Games. Other donations included a portable sound system to motivational speaker Dennis Mitchell who educates young people on the dangers of drunk driving, a personal waistband amplifier to a local elementary school, and a number of equipment gifts to the North Suburban YMCA in our business’s hometown. All these tangible donations promote our company philosophy that everyone has a story to tell, and we are here to support these organizations as they deliver their messages of community hope, action, and inspiration.
To me, the ability to give back to worthwhile causes has become one of the most satisfying elements of being a business owner. We are looking forward to finding new groups and individuals who can put our products to positive use, and we welcome them to submit requests to us via the Community Contribution Club page on our website. Our ever-growing network of relationships has strengthened our company, and I believe that it’s just good business to support the people and programs that strengthen our local, national, and global communities.
About the Author
Don Roth is owner and CEO of AmpliVox Sound Systems in Northbrook, Illinois. AmpliVox designs, manufactures, and distributes top quality sound equipment, presentation lecterns, multimedia carts, and a host of other products to support communication in formal, informal, and emergency situations. AmpliVox participates in numerous cause marketing programs for charities of all types, including its Pink Podium Promise initiative in support of breast cancer organizations. Roth lives in Lincolnshire, Illinois with his wife Nancy. For more information, visit http://www.ampli.com.