At Fireclay Tile, we make it our business to do good. From supporting our local community, donating our tile and time across the country, to helping to fund the future of our national parks, we measure our success not just in square feet but by the impact we’re able to make on the world around us.
And over time, a small commitment has grown to be one of the most gratifying parts of our business. Because not only does our tile help homeowners and businesses create beautiful spaces to live and work in, it also makes a genuine impact on our communities.
Keep reading to find out how Fireclay Gives, and where we go from here.
Beginning in 2012, along with the launch of our line of Glazed Thin Brick, we launched our first official giving campaign, pledging to donate 1% of brick sales to nonprofits. We partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association and, to this date, our brick has generated over $125,000 for our national parks as well as funding an additional $35,000 for other worthy causes.
These donations have helped defend wildlife, designate additional land to preserve antiquities and protect our natural wonders, restore air and waters, and provide opportunities for more people to access and enjoy our national parks, particularly among our underserved communities.
In 2015, to contribute to our closest community, Aromas, CA where our California factory is located, we donated a humble $600 to our local public school, the Aromas School, home of the Bulldogs! Today we’re proud to have donated over $14,000 to the Aromas School to help enrich their K-8 education, sports, and nutrition programs.
Also in 2015, we were able to contribute nearly $85,000 to Habitat for Humanity.
These early experiences gave us a taste of what we could accomplish with our giving, and the satisfaction it brought our business. In 2017 we stepped up our efforts when founder Paul Burns and CEO Eric Edelson took the Pledge 1% promise, setting aside 1% of the equity in Fireclay to donate to non-profits. In 2021, we realized a sale of shares to generate $600,000 in giving from that original 1% pledge, of which $300k went directly into the Fireclay Gives fund to support future grantmaking on behalf of Fireclay.
Also in 2017, we wanted to give our customers a more direct opportunity to contribute to our mission and launched the Give, You Get program. When a customer makes a purchase with a credit card, the credit card company charges up to 3% in merchant fees which in real dollars was about $19,000 a month for us.
At that time nearly half of our customers were purchasing with eCheck, a method that doesn’t incur a merchant fee. We decided that if we could convince our customers to pay with eCheck, we’d split the savings, 0.5% of the sale would go to our giving efforts and 0.5% would go directly back into our customers’ pockets in the form of a refund.
With our share of the savings, we funded the Khai Lam Fireclay Tile Family Fund which supports the creative and extracurricular activities and passions of our team members with $150 for each member of their immediate family. As of today, the Give, You Get program has provided over $350,000 for our Khai Lam Fireclay Tile Family Fund.
Not only does Give, You Get fund our own programs, but we believe it is a template for other companies to model and expand its impact exponentially.
In 2019, we expanded the Pledge 1% promise to include donating 1% of the square feet of tile we produce to non-profit organizations. To date, we've provided over 50,000 square feet of tile to those in need including Detroit Prep, National Women's Law Legal Non-profit, Vidiots, and Building Audacity.
In 2020, we introduced a $250 charity match to employees. We partnered with the Architects Foundation to create the Diversity Advancement Scholarship, seeding an initial donation of $5,000 plus an additional $1241 employee match that has grown to over $150,000 today with the help of people like you.
In 2021, we partnered with Allies in Arts, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Los Angeles whose mission is to support artists who are womxn, BIPOC, and LGBTQQIA2S to donate 5% of the sales of our Block Shop x Fireclay Tile Handpainted Collection to support the next generation of courageous creatives.
And we doubled down on our Pledge 1% commitment, earmarking an additional 1% in equity that we hope will grow to over $2,000,000 in value to continue our mission to do good by crafting products intentionally, collaboratively, and transparently.
What does all this mean? In total, we’ve raised over $2,000,000 for the causes we care about most. We’ve watched our community prosper, seen our shared spaces improve, and slept better knowing our teammates were taken care of even when the unexpected occurs. We’ve seen our customers respond in kind, rewarding us for our pledges and making their own impact through their purchasing and checkout choices.
Turning clay into that kind of good isn’t magic, it just takes intent, to value more than profit, to work hard, to support our team, and to share in our success.
If you’re on a mission to design for good, we want to hear about it! Click here to request a Tile Donation. Whether you’re building a school, park, public art, or community center, we’d love the chance to collaborate with you. Together, we can create safe, beautiful, and creative spaces that help change lives.