Owner JD Klein and his team at Minuteman Press in Redmond partner with local nonprofits to help others in the community. Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

Pressing the right buttons: Minuteman partners with nonprofits that help people

For the staff at Minuteman Press in downtown Redmond, business as usual is about more than just the bottom line.

It’s about getting involved in the community they serve.

And one way the printing company has been doing that has been to donate its services in graphic design, printing, marketing demographics and mailing services to local nonprofit partners focused on helping people.

Last year, Minuteman donated about $10,000 in services and materials and owner JD Klein said they are on track to do at least that amount for this year.

Nonprofits Minuteman has worked with include the Lake Washington Schools Foundation (LWSF), Olive Crest, Assistance League of the Eastside, Acres of Diamonds and Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy.

According to a Minuteman press release, the organizations receive corporate-class services while making their budget dollars go further. The results show up in better data to inform strategic planning, professional communications, stronger fundraising and lower operating costs — all of which contribute to putting more resources toward an organization’s programs and services.

“It’s not just the dollars that allow us to fulfill our mission,” said LWSF executive director Larry Wright in the release.

“It also takes committed partners bringing their skills and passion to our work. Partnering with Minuteman Press of Redmond is the next best thing to having a marketing department and we are able to apply new insights toward reaching our vision of helping every student in the (Lake Washington School District) to reach their potential.”

Currently, Minuteman has some of the recent fliers, mailers, stationary, informational brochures and other work they have done for LWSF on display in the store to help give customers an idea of the types of products the company offers.

Klein said Minuteman — which has been in business for about 15 years at its Redmond location, though he has been owner for about three and a half years — offers more than just printed products. They have added marketing strategy and analytical work to their list of services.

For example, when working with LWSF, Klein said they took a deep look at the foundation’s data to better understand its donations, grants and programs, which helped influence their marketing approach.

Minuteman also has a graphic designer, Kristen Thompson, on its staff to help clients with their products.

Thompson said helping others has been part of the business culture since Klein purchased the company. She said they used to have a nonprofit of the week during which portions of their proceeds would go to a local organization.

Those efforts have evolved and expanded to the way Minuteman currently operates when it comes to working with nonprofits.

“It’s a two-way street,” Thompson said, explaining that while the organizations get the output of tangible products, the Minuteman staff receive an education about the types of work they do and become part of the nonprofits’ processes.

It’s more relational, she said, in comparison to just donating money.

“Which is cool,” Thompson said.

By becoming involved, she said, they become part of an organization’s story.

“You can’t say that when you call in and send some money,” Thompson said.

That is not to say donating to causes is not important.

Klein said he just wants to encourage other businesses to leverage their employees’ skills and passions and align them with what an organization may need. For example, he said, employees at an accounting firm could donate their services and do the bookkeeping for an organization for free.

“We can do so much more when we think strategically about how we can help,” he said in the release.

In the release, he continues, stating that the local community is diverse with both the prosperous and those who need help — whether that is financial, educational, health or advocacy.

Klein emphasized that when local businesses think creatively about deploying their financial resources, competencies and passion back into the community it makes the biggest impact.

“Checks are great,” he said. “Time and knowledge are priceless.”