Kwame Building Group ranked second out of 75 companies on the St. Louis Business Journals Corporate Philanthropists – Small Companies List. KWAME contributed $150,000 in local cash contributions and $500,000 in in-kind contributions locally.
The 75 honorees featured on the St. Louis Business Journal’s Biggest Corporate Philanthropists Lists invested more than $127 million in St. Louis communities in 2021. More than that, 46 of those 75 companies donated 77,000 volunteer hours and found other creative ways to assist those in need. Kwame Building Group team members contributed 180 hours of volunteer work in the local area. CEO Anthony Thompson discusses what giving means for his firm and how Kwame focuses on diverse communities in its philanthropy efforts.

When asked How do you measure the impact of your efforts on your bottom line? CEO Tony Thompson said, “I am motivated by giving, not profit. As long as we are profitable and can grow while giving, that is a part of my business model. It is difficult to see the results of giving in terms of financial metrics. However, the letters we receive from graduates who have gone on to successful careers as a result of our efforts is how I measure success. Success is not always monetary. It’s measured by how many individuals we assist in becoming productive citizens capable of raising families with fulfilling careers they can be proud of.”

What areas/organizations do you target for giving and why?
Education and healthcare. Education is the neutralizer to racism. Lack of education also leads to poor health. Statistics have proven the correlation between education and health — minorities with higher education typically have access to healthcare due to improved employment opportunities. In addition, the more educated we become the more opportunities exist. Although racism is alive and well in America, “the best deterrent to racism is excellence.”

How do you get employees involved in giving and volunteering?
My staff is predominantly African American. Steel sharpens steel and men sharpen men. In order for the young middle school and high school students to aspire to engineering or business careers, [they have to] see those that look like them. I expect my people to lead by example. They must create the same opportunities they received. I expect them to pay it forward.

Read more about the awards and other recipients: