When placed alongside our other culture statements, “profit matters” might seem at odds. How does profit belong in the same framework as God, Family, Community, Faithful, Teammates and Love?
In reality, we believe “profit matters” allows our other culture statements to flourish. “When we’re making a profit, when we’re growing, we’re able to serve more families, we’re able to employ more families, and we’re able to reinvest more into the communities that we serve,” says founder and CEO Casey Crawford.
Simply put, without profit, we couldn’t exist. Profit is the measuring stick of how well we are transforming an industry. It provides the resources to invest in our employees’ lives. Profit matters because it gives us the opportunity to amplify good work in our communities around the world.
The profit we create from our product is secondary to the impact we can create from it. That is why we’re a for profit company.”
Leaders in the Industry
From four employees at inception in 2008, to more than 4,000 employees just eight years later, profit has played a role in Movement’s rapid growth. We’ve expanded from Virginia to 48 states. We were named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 5,000 list of fastest growing companies in America for the fourth time in 2016. Recently, we broke the list of top 10 purchase mortgage lenders in the U.S.
“Profit creates the margin for us to create jobs and opportunity” Crawford says. We have a goal to serve 1 out of every 10 homebuyers by 2025 — and it’s a lofty goal. We need to create profit to continue to grow, continue to service more borrowers and continue to expand our footprint and change the financial services industry.
A Culture of Caring
To talk about profit and culture in the same sentence seems a little incongruous. But the reality of the culture that we’ve nurtured here at Movement is that without profit, we wouldn’t have the resources to invest in relationships, to provide an environment where employees can learn and grow.
With our profit, we support the Thrive team, a department devoted to enhancing the employee experience. Thrive organizes programs for employees that aim to celebrate their work, invest in their future and help them live richer, fuller lives.
Through Thrive, Movement challenges employees to accept the full benefit of 401K matching up to 6% for every employee. Health insurance premiums are subsidized in exchange for wellness participation, and Thrive hosts annual family appreciation events to recognize relationships.
Without profitability, non-revenue producing departments such as Thrive wouldn’t be possible.
“We’re a more efficient workplace when we’re physically fit, financially sound, and emotionally stable,” Thrive Director Aimee Dodson says. “Thrive strives to improve all of those so our employees are more productive and successful.”
Reinvest in Communities
Dedication to reinvesting in our communities is one of the key components that sets Movement apart. The nonprofit Movement Foundation was established in 2012 to receive ownership shares in the company and systematic dividends from company profits. The foundation puts that money to work in causes that bring life, light and hope to people in need.
It runs the Movement Center, a co-working space for nonprofits in west Charlotte, N.C. It also owns a farm in Uganda, is building a charter school in Charlotte and helps provide for homeless women and children in India, among other causes.”
As an organization, we follow the words of Proverbs 3:27: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due when it is in your power to act.” Without profit to invest, we cannot play a role in searching for solutions to fundamental issues like homelessness, poverty and more.
It’s about how to effectively steward the profit that [we’re] generating in a manner that serves the community with real love and care and concern.”
When it comes to Movement Foundation, Crawford is quick to point to the word investment, rather than giving.
“The nuance about the word invest is that it assumes a return. Not that I’m going to receive the return back, but there is going to be a return created in your life, a positive impact made in a community because of this investment.” And that philosophy governs Movement’s use of profit.
We strive to empower our employees to live better, fuller lives. Every program is intentional and thoughtful, from teaching a new career in Movement University to offering healthy foods and beverages in the cafe for lunch. Company-wide initiatives like paying off debt and exercising more aim to teach employees how to make impactful changes rather than offering quick fixes.
Movement also intentionally partners with proven community programs and ministries that empower those who need help, rather than robbing them of their dignity. In Uganda, the farm will provide jobs and skills to a village whose inhabitants were devastated by years of civil war. In west Charlotte, the Movement School will offer a safe, structured learning environment where children can grow and prosper. Employee matched giving programs — the foundation matches employee generosity dollar-for-dollar — are designed to amplify the generosity of others and funnel dollars to the most effective local causes.
“It’s not just a check I’m writing,” Crawford says. “It’s an investment in institutions and projects to give them a pathway to progress, an opportunity to create their own success.”
Profit matters because it provides families who work here with opportunities; because it allows us to serve homebuyers with integrity. It matters because it allows us to empower others in our community to succeed, and because it lets us invest with those in need.