January is the month of reflections, resolutions and change. Company executives are currently meeting, outlining plans for 2018, hoping their decisions improve the future direction of the company. With the passage of new tax codes in December, this year may provide more opportunity for change than ever before. As we organize our budgets for 2018, I encourage all business leaders to make community giving a priority. I believe it is our privilege – and responsibility – to do so.
Last January, Prairie Oil & Gas decided it was time to give back. To help us identify the biggest needs within the communities where we operate, we administered a survey to our clients, business contacts, employees and community leaders. Hundreds responded, and the majority wanted to see Prairie donate to public education. And so we did.
In 2017, we supported the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center (specifically Vici and Chickasha school districts), Oklahoma Partnership for Expanded Learning and various student organizations at Rush Springs Public Schools – with more donations planned in 2018
We knew the dollars would have tangible benefits, giving teachers and students more resources. That alone is enough reason to give. What we didn’t expect was the ripple effect that followed.
The donations sparked conversations that encouraged others to give. Our employees began discussing how and where they, personally, could give. We’ve had internal fundraising campaigns, and Prairie matched employee contributions. Volunteer days have been organized. The spirit of generosity and caring for our Oklahoma neighbors became contagious. Turns out our decision to give back in 2017 did improve the future direction of Prairie Oil & Gas.
Our company was built on the theory that more can be gained through cooperation. This is true with public education and other important issues facing our state. If all Oklahoma business leaders include community giving in their budget, 2018 is destined to be a great year.
Founding Partner of Prairie Oil & Gas in Norman, Oklahoma