At its 2015 annual Making a Different awards, the Nonprofit Village recognized Tom Raffa, Managing Partner at Raffa P.C., for his invaluable contributions to the community. Tom Raffa established himself as a leader among social entrepreneurs more than three decades ago. His accounting, technology and consulting firm, Raffa, P.C., has strengthened the nonprofit business sector in local, national, and international communities, proving that for-profit companies dedicated to social good can thrive.
Founded in 1984 on a strong value system and a highly principled approach to doing business, Raffa, P.C. is a professional services firm with one primary objective: to be a catalyst for positive systemic change in the community. By building capacity and empowering nonprofits to better fulfill their missions, and by strengthening and advising the businesses and individuals who support them, Tom and Raffa are able to achieve their shared mission and advance the sector and community as a whole.
Raffa’s activities are aimed at benefiting the greatest number of organizations possible, ensuring that they are able to fulfill their missions and best serve those in need. Over the past decade or so, Raffa has also been a leader in supporting social impact ventures, by providing back office support to build their capacity.
Raffa contributes millions of dollars of pro bono support to nonprofits in the form of skilled services, donations of money and goods. In addition, Raffa has raised and invested its own money in social impact ventures that it sees as innovative so as to scale their processes to significant impact.
As an established leader for positive social change, Raffa has recently coordinated efforts among varying participants including the private sector, the government, foundations and other philanthropists and nonprofits or social impact companies.
In an effort to enhance philanthropic engagement from the business community in the region, Tom spearheaded the creation of Companies for Causes, a model for corporate giving for which he was awarded the 2014 Pearl Foundation Award for Innovation in Philanthropy. Raffa donates professional hours, office space, equipment, etc. to the Catalogue for Philanthropy that is also housed in their DC Offices. The Catalogue works with hundreds of small nonprofits in our region to promote awareness of their efforts and raised money in support of their mission.
As a leader in corporate philanthropy, Raffa has provided millions of dollars in skilled based pro bono support and incubated numerous nonprofits, such as One Economy Corporation, Compass Fellows, Companies for Causes, the Ends AIDS Coalition and the Catalogue for Philanthropy, which have gone on to become successful nonprofit organizations. A founding board member of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management and the Alliance for Nonprofit Insurance, Tom currently personally serves on five nonprofit boards and speaks regularly on topics such as nonprofit management, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, work life integration, sustainability, etc. As a graduate of Georgetown University and member of the Georgetown University Alumnae Admissions Program, Tom has served as a mentor at the Georgetown University McDonough Business School for almost three decades.
Recognizing that many organizations lack the resources they need to do their important jobs, Tom has led efforts to put valuable information at their fingertips by creating and providing free resources. In 2011, Tom established the Raffa Learning Community to help nonprofits access complimentary, quality training and educational opportunities across a wide breadth of topics vital to their organizational health. Together with caring partner trainers, Raffa has been able to offer hundreds of educational seminars, workshops, and learning events and provide CPE at no cost to thousands of participants, mostly from nonprofit organizations.
Raffa continuously has some of the largest number of community service hours in Washington, D.C., consistently coming in at number one within their corporate size group. While firm policies and dollars encourages employee involvement, the key to achieving success is finding employees who are equally committed to the firm’s principles. Raffa attracts a purpose-driven workforce and mentors its employees to find their purpose, empowering them to best utilize their skills and expertise to serve their community.
Under Tom’s leadership, Raffa has implemented systems to ensure that employees support the
firm’s principles and commitment to giving time, resources and expertise.
Raffa requires managers and partners of the firm volunteer as part of their employment. Employees can share their expertise with other nonprofits to promote best practices, Board governance, and fiscal accountability. Raffa employees are encouraged to volunteer in their own communities, on issues and in ways that provide meaning for them. In 2015, employees logged 16,000 hours of community service.
Monthly “Denim Days” promote employee charitable contributions, where employees can dress casually in exchange for making a contribution to support one of Raffa’s smaller community nonprofit clients. Tom then matches the total contribution raised each month to support the charity.
Ending glass ceilings and barriers: Raffa fosters a diverse and flexible environment to ensure that professional women feel valued and empowered to “Do More”. Raffa is the largest women-owned CPA firm in the United States and the only one in the top 100 CPA firms in our country.