Austin’s Best CEO, Austinite of the Year and owner of BuildASign.com are just a few of the ways you may know Dan Graham–but we know him best as a dedicated volunteer UWATX board member!
We talked to Dan about his love for Austin, why he supports UWATX’s work and the importance of his company having a philanthropic presence.
“Growing up, my parents always did a great job of instilling the value of community service in me,” Dan said. “Volunteering on the weekends was just a part of my youth, so I’m excited to carry that over both personally and professionally.”
“I choose to support nonprofits that have an overarching goal of bettering the community at-large. I knew I wanted to utilize my resources to help further the mission of UWATX.”
— Dan Graham
Dan personally supports numerous nonprofits in Austin and initiated the BuildASign.com Giving Program, which awards in-kind gifts in the form of discounts and donated products to nonprofits across the country.
“I’m super excited to say that since its inception, the Giving Program has given more than $1 million in in-kind donations to more than 1,700 nonprofits of all sizes and causes. The program is currently staffed by five full-time team members dedicated to assisting nonprofit organizations.”
His philanthropic and professional efforts have not gone unnoticed. BuildASign.com earned distinction as one of the Austin Business Journal’s “Best Places to Work” (6 times!), Forbes “America’s Most Promising Companies”, a spot on the Inc. 5000 list for four years and the Austin Gives “GeneroCity Award” in 2012. Dan earned the title of Austin Under 40’s “Austinite of the Year,” Austin Business Journal’s “Best CEO” and Ernst & Young’s “Entrepreneur of the Year.”
“The Austin Under 40 Austinite of the Year award was one that I really hold near and dear. This award symbolized an entire city of people–people I grew up with, work with, hang out with and serve with–who chose me to represent the city based solely on what I do and how I give. It’s a very cool feeling!”
When it comes to personal causes he cares about, Dan says he supports organizations that are dedicated to broadly improving Austin. United Way for Greater Austin is one of the local nonprofits he feels has a “big-picture, forward-thinking mentality.”
“I choose to support nonprofits that have an overarching goal of bettering the community at-large. I knew I wanted to utilize my resources to help further the mission of UWATX. Since UWATX is about advancing the common good and mobilizing the caring power of communities, I’d say their role for Austin is a big one. UWATX is poised to lead the community in a well-rounded effort to get the younger generations to understand the value of giving, advocating and volunteering to improve the conditions of Austin.”