Fathom Gives Back

It was a gorgeous summer day in 2005, and I was excited to walk from my apartment in Washington’s Van Ness neighborhood down to the Cleveland Park library to hear a relatively obscure author discuss his new book. Little did I know, my life was about to change.

The author speaking turned out to be none other than Daniel Pink, and he was discussing his new book, A Whole New Mind. I was fascinated throughout the talk, spoke with him briefly afterwards about his ideas, and then ended up devouring the book (and the extensive homework he recommends in the appendix). I became a huge Daniel Pink fan, so I was excited to read his follow-up, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. In it, he describes how modern workers are intrinsically motivated by 3 factors:

  • Mastery: the process of becoming adept at an activity;
  • Autonomy: the ability to choose one’s tasks, and how they will be implemented;
  • Purpose: a desire to improve the world and find meaning in one’s work.

Here at Fathom, we’ve always taken Mr. Pink’s research seriously—well, at least the first 2 parts of it. Fathom employees are encouraged to master their specialties and create new products and services never offered before. That might be one of our exciting and innovative Facebook apps, an analytics dashboard measuring the ROI of social media interactions, or a marketing automation campaign that engages and nurtures future customers. Second, Fathomites receive a tremendous amount of independence; rather than feel like automatons punching a clock every day from 9 am to 5 pm, we create dynamic, exciting plans for our clients’ digital marketing, and then execute them in a strategic manner.

Recently, Fathom has also begun tackling the third point—the grander purpose behind the work we do. First, the company took on pro bono clients like The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and ARZU Studio Hope, helping these organizations improve their digital marketing so they can better fulfill their fundamental missions. Second, Fathom employees have taken on literally dozens of fundraising campaigns, such as Movember, bike rides, walks, and races to help a wide variety of causes.

Most recently, Fathom has put its money where its mouth is, launching the company’s first corporate matching gift program. For 2013, Fathom will match up to $150 of an employee’s charitable gifts, dollar-for-dollar; if the employee volunteers ten hours for a charity, that also qualifies for the full matching gift. In total, the matching gift program represents a potential gift to our community of nearly $20,000! Since the program’s launch this past fall, we’ve seen the staggering diversity of organizations where Fathom employees volunteer: libraries, schools, international aid organizations, places of worship, and a wide variety of health-related causes.

As 2013 continues, stay tuned for more updates on how Fathom is giving back to its community. Though you may not get to meet Daniel Pink in person, if you have the chance to read Drive (or at least watch the TED talk), I think you’ll really enjoy it!


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