Social impact has always been in focus at Novogradac. Throughout its history, the organization has specialized in tax incentives and related activities designed to benefit communities in need. Along the way we have helped our clients build their competence and confidence with those incentives and have provided necessary services to ensure the incentives’ intended outcomes are achieved. As conditions have evolved and new incentives have emerged, Novogradac has embraced its essential role in assisting our clients to navigate those new paths.
Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, Novogradac’s managing partner, Michael J. Novogradac released a message that sparked the creation of the social impact office at Novogradac. The social impact office is focused on utilizing our strengths as a firm to create positive change for our stakeholders including Novogradac partners and employees, clients, and the communities in which we work. We are leaders and experts in our fields, we provide opportunities for connection and education through our events, publications and new online educational platforms, and help to realize the intended benefits of tax incentives.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Diversity, equity and inclusion has been at the center of Novogradac’s work since its founding. The organization has for decades specialized in incentives designed to benefit disadvantaged communities, from affordable housing to community development, historic preservation, renewable energy and much more. Novogradac brings that same commitment of diversity and inclusion to its employees through our company culture.
Novogradac’s DE&I strategy focuses on 3 primary areas: governance focusing on systemic change; education to increase the intercultural knowledge and competence of our workforce; engagement and communication pathways to celebrate diversity and create greater inclusivity.
At Novogradac, diversity means seeing the value in all people no matter their ability – mental or physical, age, ethnicity, gender or gender identification, religion, or sexual orientation. We respect the different perspectives that each of our employees bring to this organization and understand that these perspectives foster innovation and the solutions that contribute to our success every day.
Equity is our commitment to fair and impartial policies, procedures, resources and opportunities for all employees at Novogradac. It is our way of reviewing, assessing and improving our practices to provide proportional benefits to our entire workforce.
Inclusion is a part of our company culture – where we celebrate not only what we do but who we are individually. Novogradac is on a journey to foster an inclusive work environment where employees can bring their full self to work. We want to create an environment where our employees feel embraced and accepted no matter how they identify.
We are proud of the societal benefits generated by our focus on activities including affordable housing, urban renewal, historic preservation and renewable energy. We also recognize that opportunities exist to help our communities beyond the tax credit programs in which we specialize. For that reason, Novogradac supports a number of charitable organizations and encourages employees to participate in a number of charitable programs.
Novogradac Matching Gift Program
Novogradac has partnered with the American Red Cross and the National Urban League to offer employees matching gift opportunities.
Novogradac matches, on a 2-1 basis, all donations made by active Novogradac employees in support of the National Urban League. These donations can be directed to a number of efforts aimed at enabling African Americans and other underserved urban residents to secure economic self-reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
For every donation made to the American Red Cross by an active Novogradac employee, the organization makes a dollar-for-dollar matching donation, up to an annual aggregate maximum. These donations can be directed to a number of efforts, including disaster relief, services for military members and their families, local Red Cross chapters and more.
Every year, Novogradac encourages employees to give back to their communities by providing paid time off to employees who volunteer for community service events arranged by the organization. These events have included volunteer opportunities with organizations such as Project Homeless Connect and Habitat for Humanity, as well as local food banks in the communities where Novogradac offices are located.
Increasing Representation in Community Development Finance
Many of the tax incentive programs Novogradac works with focus efforts on minority communities; however, within these sectors there is underrepresentation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) professionals.
Novogradac supports the increase of BIPOC representation in community development finance fields through a variety of ways including hosting equity-focused event sessions, participating in partner programs like ULI’s REDi program, and the Open Access Program. These programs focus on removing some of the barriers of entry that may exist for BIPOC professionals to join the community development finance field.
Novogradac RBH Founders Scholarship
A fundamental purpose of Novogradac over the past 31 years has been to nurture opportunities for meaningful growth and development – of our clients, our communities, and especially our employees.
Richard B. Hutchins, who retired in 2020 and was a founder and former executive committee member, contributed in immeasurable ways to establishing the culture of our firm, particularly in the recruitment and development of many Novogradac employees and partners.
As part of continuing Rick’s legacy, it is our hope to recognize and encourage promising interns to further their careers in public accounting and/or real estate valuation by awarding five $1000 awards.
The awards take place annually and are based on work the intern accomplishes while at Novogradac. A committee representing diverse perspectives and business functions across the firm selects the awardees. As a part of Novogradac’s commitment to increasing the number of BIPOC/LGBTQ+ professionals in community development finance, at least two awards will be made to BIPOC/LGBTQ+ interns.
Feb. 2, 2021: Why Social Impact Matters
Tax Credit Tuesday podcast