By definition, philanthropy means the desire to promote the welfare of others. In a sense, a lawyer’s purpose is the same. As advocates, they support their community. As advisors, they counsel their clients with compassion and empathy about legal rights and obligations. So, it should come as no surprise that Laura Bianchi and Justin Brandt’s community representation goes far beyond their office walls. Not only do they work as bold advocates within the realm of law, but their involvement extends so much wider through their philanthropic efforts.
As a devoted human and animal rights advocate, Laura is largely involved with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and Wings of Rescue, a 501(c)3 charity that flies shelter pets from disaster areas and overcrowded shelters to safe havens. She has also taken part in the A21 organization’s mission to end modern-day slavery and combat human trafficking. In 2019, she took to the dance floor as a participant of the National Kidney Foundation’s 12th annual Dancing with the Stars Arizona fundraiser. Having trained for several years in mixed martial arts (MMA) and witnessing the effects of athletic performance-related kidney disease and failure, Laura was all-in and determined to shed light on the cause. As a passionate advocate for the development of a professional and responsible cannabis industry, Laura also served as co-chair of the Phoenix chapter of Women Grow, a national organization dedicated to connecting, educating, and empowering diverse leaders in all segments of the cannabis industry.
Like his business partner, Justin shares a willingness to put others’ needs before his own and firmly believes in giving back and raising awareness within the community. Justin was heavily involved with Valley Leadership Institute Class 41, a program that empowers local business, civic and economic leaders to pursue a more profound impact on both short-term and long-term challenges facing Arizona. By drawing on the expertise of Arizona’s most influential and respected business leaders, Valley Leadership provides real-time insight surrounding the most significant issues shaping the community both today and in the future. Additionally, he’s an active member of the Men’s Art Council of the Phoenix Art Museum, the Arizona Dispensary Association, and the St. Thomas More Society of Phoenix.
Together, Justin and Laura continue to make their mark in the community which is reflected in their current involvement with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley (BGCAZ). BGCAZ offers affordable after-school and summer programs for over 16,000 young people in grades K-12. They are dedicated to helping young people make healthy decisions, focusing on social and emotional development. During the holidays, Justin and Laura are hosting a BGCAZ toy drive and encouraging friends, families, clients, and colleagues to participate by providing new, unwrapped toys or by donating funds directly to the fundraiser.
Giving back is great for the soul, and in many cases, philanthropic efforts are also great for a business’s culture. Companies that donate money to nonprofit organizations or take active interests in their communities often find a boost in employee morale as well as client trust and credibility. Numerous trends demonstrate that customer loyalty is also enhanced by philanthropic efforts. While Bianchi & Brandt is committed to providing clients with an empowering experience, they’re equally committed to empowering their employees and the surrounding community.
Between memberships in cannabis industry associations and roles in various nonprofits and organizations, both Laura and Justin have long-since established themselves as active, responsible, and giving members of society. By contributing donations to 501(c)3 organizations and maintaining community involvement, companies like Bianchi & Brandt place themselves at the forefront in their industry. Their philanthropic efforts help gain positive recognition while spreading awareness and helping nonprofits that matter to them, their employees, and their community, remaining true to the meaning of philanthropy, and their own values.
Just like Laura and Justin, you can inspire change in your community. There are currently over 20,000 nonprofit organizations in Arizona. If any of the organizations mentioned above sparked your interest, don’t hesitate to visit the links provided or visit the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits web page to learn more about how you can get involved.