Dowd Bennett Awarded Most Philanthropic Small Company for the Fourth Consecutive Year
Dowd Bennett, founded by Ed Dowd and Jim Bennett in 2006 has topped the St. Louis Business Journal’s corporate philanthropists list for small companies for the fourth year in a row.
In 2020, the law firm contributed more than $870,000 to the St. Louis region through cash and in-kind giving. Locally, the firm donated to the St. Louis Community Foundation, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Below, Ed Dowd talks about giving priorities for the law firm, which has 50 local employees, during the pandemic.
How did the firm’s philanthropic efforts change in 2020? While our giving has continued to focus on areas importance to our profession and the charitable interests of attorneys and staff, Dowd Bennett supported a Covid-specific effort by the St. Louis Community Foundation through its neighborhood arm Invest STL. The goal of Dowd Bennett’s $150,000 contribution was to provide grants to small businesses in St. Louis city and county neighborhoods with the highest concentration of people living in poverty. Invest STL identified small businesses that needed capital to meet standards for reopening in the early days of the pandemic and, at the time, didn’t have access to other sources of funding.
What did you learn from the challenges presented by Covid-19? Since its inception, Dowd Bennett has fostered a culture of giving back to the community. There is a shared commitment to give equally during both promising and challenging times. We were able to continue our philanthropic efforts during the pandemic and feel fortunate to have been of assistance to those who struggled during (and what continues to be) a very difficult time.
How should nonprofits approach corporate donors who might be having their own financial challenges during this time? Our funding decisions are ground in basic principles including: (A) What causes are important to attorneys and staff who have devoted their own time and resources to these endeavors? We want to support the interests that are important to our team; and (B) causes that positively impact the legal profession and those that impact the long-term success of St. Louis. Dowd Bennett is a proud St. Louis law firm comprised of many native St. Louisans and transplants who now call St. Louis home. We believe our community has a bright future and we want to do our part to ensure its future success.