As kids, we’re taught to share with those around us. Whether dividing up snacks or distributing crayons equally amongst friends, it’s the ideal time to plant seeds of generosity. For Lori Drummond, President and CEO of Olympia Federal Savings (OlyFed), a love of giving was instilled early and continues even today.
Drummond explains that she “was first introduced through my father who worked where they offered annual workplace giving campaigns. He introduced us to the challenges people face, and we had these open conversations as a family.”
She started with OlyFed as a receptionist in 1984, and it was “my first real job,” recalls Drummond. Their giving campaign started her philanthropy journey and eventually led to United Way of Thurston County. OlyFed has a long tradition of donating 10% of profits back to local charities and organizations and encourages volunteering and fund drives amongst employees.
Over the years, Drummond has expanded her charitable footprint through work with many local organizations. These include time on the Boards of the Olympia Symphony Orchestra, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Rotary Club of South Puget Sound, Community Foundation of South Puget Sound, Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County, St. Martin’s University, Washington State Heritage Center Trust, Northwest Financial Association Trust, RoundTable of Thurston County, and the Washington Savings League.
Giving to United Way felt especially important to Drummond. “I saw how money was put back into the community to the highest need.” As part of her early responsibilities, she was invited to visit downtown Olympia businesses and speak with them about instituting business giving programs.
“Oh, I’ve had a little bit of history with the organization!” laughs Drummond. She chaired the United Way Board from 1989 to 1999 and remained involved. “They have such integrity,” she says, “and they do their homework; all giving is well studied.” By facilitating collaborative community assessments, monies are used where needed most to make the most substantial overall impact.
With her experience in banking and nonprofits, Drummond acknowledges that lately, times are tough for everyone. But she encourages families that “every dollar and hour matters. It doesn’t have to be financial and doesn’t have to be a lot. Take care of the basics for your family but know that it’s important to take care of your community too. Anything helps you be connected and part of the solution.”
An easy way to help is through automatic workplace giving. “It doesn’t seem so hard that way,” she admits. “Even $1 or $2 can make a difference. Or you can volunteer time as well.” For her contributions, Drummond typically earmarks donations towards the most significant need but has also dedicated them to specific youth organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Thurston County.
After her upcoming retirement from OlyFed, Drummond “will do my best to be a supporter of United Way still.” But she’s excited to enjoy trips to the San Juan islands, San Diego, California, and even Italy. And, as ever, she’ll be there to help in whatever way she can for the benefit of future generations. You, too, can help with your gift today.