Chart Westcott on “Dallas Entrepreneurs and Philanthropy”

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There has been a push in recent years for businesses to put their best foot forward when it comes to engaging with their communities and the world at large; and while this is seen most prominently through the messaging of major corporations like Nike or Microsoft, no business is too small to contribute. In addition to serving a good cause, integrating a charitable tie-in to your business’ efforts can do wonders for your brand identity. If you’re a Dallas business owner, these initiatives can be a great way to give back.

Habitat For Humanity
Integrating charitable giving into your business doesn’t have to be a purely monetary exercise. Habitat For Humanity is one of the most prolific charitable groups in the United States, and they always need extra hands on deck to help them build houses. Encouraging your staff to become engaged by volunteering at Habitat For Humanity or other charitable organizations isn’t just a good way to give back. It can also be a formidable team building exercise.

The Ability App
Business owners should find plenty to be inspired by in the story of Ability app developer Alexander Knoll. This 13 year old has taken the initiative to create a platform that people with disabilities can use to identify locations with disability friendly services. While the app itself is produced on a smaller budget, potential businesses could do a lot to signal boost the app’s value and encourage other local merchants and service providers to engage directly with its development. And Alexander’s app isn’t the only worthwhile software platform on the market. Tracking down worthwhile development endeavors and providing them with the resources they need is a great way to get involved in a truly grassroots process.

Scheduled Profit Donations
Donations don’t have to be made on an annual basis. They can become squarely integrated into the business model of retailers or restaurateurs. That’s the case with Peticolas Brewing Company which has scheduled the third Thursday of every month as an opportunity to give back to the community. They donate 15% of their taproom sales these days to a rotating list of local health care charities. Such initiatives can drive more customers to your storefront, and choosing local businesses or those that you or your staff are passionate about are a great way to get the whole team passionately engaged in the process.

About The Author: Chart Westcott is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Ikarian Capital, LLC, a long/short equity biotech focused hedge fund that launched in January 2016. Mr. Westcott graduated from Vanderbilt University with a BA in History and from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law, where he concentrated on corporate transactions and tax law.

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Originally published at on November 16, 2018.

Chart Westcott is Co-Founder and COO at Ikarian Capital, LLC a long/short equity biotech focused investment adviser. Read more at

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