10 min

2023 Community Impact Report

Year three as a B Corp™ focused on community, sustainability, and the grand opening of our new LEED Gold certified HQ.

We’re proud of how we showed up in 2023.

This past year, we furthered our volunteer work, positively impacted our environment, and doubled down on community via our brand new
LEED Gold certified headquarters.

This report shares our 2023 successes so we can be transparent and accountable about our goals. We’re pleased with our accomplishments but would be nowhere without our exceptional employees and community partners. We thank them for supporting our mission to work toward a better agency and world.

B Corp™ Certification

2023 was our third year as a Certified B Corporation,™ which recognizes our commitment to being a force for good.

We’re happy to have been awarded a B Impact Assessment (BIA) score of 84 for our social and environmental impact, and we hope to improve our score when reapplying for B-Corp recertification in 2024.

The following report is meant to share our progress in the five areas of B-Corp assessment: Community, Workers, Governance, Customers, and Environment.

How we invested in our people

At Thesis, we appreciate the unique lived experiences of all ages, orientations, socioeconomic statuses, genders, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. This year, we continued providing our employees opportunities to connect with and grow their identities, interests, and passions.

Benefits & Beyond

A well-supported team starts with abundant benefits.

Thesis offers generous Paid Time Off allowances, plus additional time for volunteer work (VTO), professional development (ProDev), and bonus wellness days. In 2023, we also gave our team space to rest and recharge with Early-Release Fridays in the summer and an extended Holiday Closure in the winter.

We invested in the career growth of our teammates via leadership training for managers and CliftonStrengths Assessments for employees to understand their superpowers. Each employee has the opportunity to create a Growth Project with their manager to map out what success looks like during their time at Thesis.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Thesis creates dedicated ERG spaces for employees to celebrate their identities and values. Each ERG has a formalized structure, a budget for events and community outreach, and autonomy to make decisions that are important to them. They share cultural moments with our entire agency and organize volunteer projects with inspiring community groups.

Thesis is home to seven active ERGs:

  • Asiancy: 43 employees
  • BET (Black Excellence at Thesis): 39 employees
  • EmpowHER: 53 employees
  • Green Team: 40 employees
  • MyGente: 16 employees
  • Queery: 25 employees
  • T4T (Thesis for Trans Folks): 5 employees

How we invested in our planet

It was a big year for sustainability and the environment at Thesis. We were thrilled to open our new LEED Gold certified HQ in our hometown of Portland, OR.

And through some exciting recycling programs, we also saved a total of 699K+ gallons of water and 76K+ pounds of carbon.

Thesis HQ

We consider our new LEED Gold certified building an asset not only for our company — improving our ability to collaborate with each other and our partners — but also an asset to our community.

We’ve implemented programs that we hope will result in 65% of our spending going to locally-owned, eco-friendly, and/or minority-owned businesses in our neighborhood.

We’ll monitor and report our building’s energy, water, and waste usage and use this data to inform our sustainability targets in the future. To further our recycling priorities, we’ve also partnered with Ridwell and FreeGeek to responsibly repurpose the harder-to-recycle products.

Litter League

To be good neighbors and do our part in our new Slabtown neighborhood, we created the Thesis Litter League program in partnership with Portland’s AdoptOneBlock.

Each month, a group of Thesis employees helps keep trash off the streets and out of natural resources, all while strengthening relationships within the agency. Across 2023, we had everyone from Executives to Interns picking up trash.

Together, we removed 33+ buckets of garbage from the streets.

Recycling Electronic Waste

With the help of FreeGeek, we made sure our tech equipment was responsibly recycled or donated to communities in need, avoiding landfills where it poses risks to our soil, water, air, and wildlife.

  • Desktops: 37
  • Laptops: 2
  • Monitors: 22
  • Printers: 4
  • Servers: 1
  • TVs: 11
  • Network Devices: 9

Green Team’s Zero Waste Clothing Drive

Our Green Team ERG hosted its annual Zero Waste Textile Drive for Earth Day and distributed clothing donations to our nonprofit partner Rose Haven. All clothing unsuitable for donation was recycled with For Days through their Take Back Bag program.

How We Invested In Our Partnerships

While we value every partnership, a few are extra close to our hearts as they help us deepen our impact on the community.

The Script and COMMA are non-profit groups aimed at empowering people from diverse backgrounds. Both programs received the Portland Business Journal’s Innovation in Philanthropy Award (The Script in 2022 and COMMA in 2023), making Thesis the first-ever company to win this prestigious award for two consecutive years.

The impact of these partnerships in 2023 has been 3,000+ hours of paid work for interns and 1,000+ hours of mentorship provided by Thesis employees.

The Script

The Script, formerly known as the Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI), is a venture nonprofit focused on empowering future leaders and mobilizing community for the common good. The Script was co-founded by Thesis founder Ryan Buchanan. This year marked Thesis’s eighth year partnering with The Script and eighth class of Interns hosted from underrepresented communities.

Thirteen Thesis leaders hosted a special hour-long learning session with the Intern class. And our employees provided 1,000+ hours of mentorship throughout the course of the program. In all, our Interns were given more than 3,000 hours of paid work, building their experience and confidence in the marketing industry.

We also had our first-ever Internship VTO project with our Interns, in which we packed 80 boxes of STEAM learning materials at Girls Inc. of the Pacific NW.

COMMA Mentorship

COMMA is a group organized by and for BIPOC students in the Graphic Design program at Portland State University. In 2023, we kicked off the program’s second year with a panel discussion offering professional advice to students.

We then paired 15 talented design students with Thesis mentors for an eight-week program catered to each BIPOC student’s academic, social, and creative needs — and the promising careers ahead of them.

We Believe In Portland

To further our investment in our community and promote the collective care of our city, Thesis co-founded the We Believe in Portland movement.

Last year’s annual event — organized in partnership with AdoptOneBlock — took place on September 15, 2023. 600+ community leaders from 135+ companies gathered at Pioneer Courthouse Square to clean more than 55 city streets in downtown Portland.

How We Invested In Our Philanthropy

While we wholly believe in putting in the time and work, we’re also committed to giving monetary donations whenever possible. Through our in-house foundation and other channels, we feel good about our financial contributions in 2023 as a complement to our actions.

Thesis Foundation

The Thesis Foundation is an initiative led by nine employees serving communities at the heart of our people and city. The Foundation seeks to close equity gaps in the greater Portland metro area by supporting organizations that engage in issues of racial equity and contribute to underserved communities.

  • Total Organizations Supported: 13
  • Total Amount Given in 2023: $45,000

Since its inception in 2020, the Thesis Foundation has given a total of $145K to 29 nonprofits. Grants are made three times per year: fall cycle, spring cycle, and in the summer for our Black Futures Fund.*

Spring 2023 Grants: $20,000

  • Girls Inc. of the Pacific NW
  • Grow Portland
  • Post 58
  • Write Around Portland

Summer 2023 Grants: $10,000

  • Black Futures Fund
    (fourth consecutive year)

Fall 2023 Grants: $15,000

  • Active Children Portland
  • p:ear
  • Portland Workforce Alliance.

*In 2020, the Thesis Foundation created the Black Futures Fund to show our support for the Black community as we fight for change. 2023 was our final year in a four-year commitment to six local Black-led nonprofits:

  • Imagine Black Futures
  • KairosPDX
  • NAACP Portland Branch
  • Self Enhancement, Inc.
  • Ujima for Children International Foundation
  • Urban League of Portland

Volunteer Time Off (VTO)

At Thesis, every benefit-eligible employee receives 16 hours of Volunteer Time Off (VTO) to use in service of a nonprofit of their choice. Our team’s individual philanthropy added up to more than 1,638 hours donated — the cash equivalent of $75,359.50. VTO was used by 43% of our employees (134 employees).

We also completed four volunteer projects with past Thesis Foundation grantees: Portland Backpack, Grow Portland, Rose Haven, and Girls Inc. of the Pacific NW.

Additional Donations Beyond Thesis Foundation:

  • Cash: $101,500
  • In-Kind:  $6,750

Holiday Giving

Thesis hosted a 2023 holiday gift drive to help support Every Child, a part of The Contingent organization, which seeks to uplift children and families impacted by foster care in Oregon. Gifts were a combination of toys, activities, and hygiene and clothing essentials. Our team delivered 100+ gifts to foster youth this holiday season.

Awards Received in 2023

We’re delighted that our impact was recognized with the following awards:

  • Innovation in Philanthropy Award
    Portland Business Journal
  • Portland’s Top 10 Philanthropic Companies 
    Portland Business Journal
  • Most Admired Companies in the Region
    Portland Business Journal
  • Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America
    Inc. 5000
  • Fastest-Growing Private Companies in Oregon
    Portland Business Journal

We strive for more in 2024.

Four years ago, we made the conscious decision to be a different kind of Portland agency. What we’ve accomplished in 2023 makes us incredibly proud — but the work doesn’t stop here.

Today and always, we stand firmly behind our mission to be a positive force in our community, the marketing industry, and the world beyond.

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