The world of philanthropy recently lost one of the early pioneers for corporate giving and employee engagement. Tom Tobin passed away on May 13, 2021, at his home in Austin, Texas. With a lifetime commitment to philanthropy, he built a foundation for workplaces across the nation to empower and engage their employees in supporting the causes they believe in. He leaves behind a legacy of giving back and will be deeply missed.
Tom was always drawn to activism, focusing his energy on helping others and improving his community. Whether it was raising funds to heat homes; reduce the use of pesticides; or improve the health, safety and economic security of his fellow Texans, Tom was there to lend his talent.
In 1991, Tom joined Global Impact and was instrumental in helping to establish the Texas State Employee’s Campaign, opening the door for public workers to fund local, national and international nonprofits. This initiative grew to become the largest state campaign in the nation. He then went on to help replicate this model in other cities and counties throughout Texas.
Tom became Global Impact’s senior vice president of development and was responsible for spearheading our expansion into private sector workplace giving campaigns, empowering hundreds of thousands of corporate employees across the country to give to international charities. His leadership helped raise millions of dollars for causes like clean water, global health and disaster relief. His work literally influenced individuals and communities around the world, as charities were bolstered to continue their work improving lives and providing lifesaving services.
Tom will always be recognized for growing Global Impact’s programmatic reach. However, he will also be remembered for his quiet and gentle approach to leadership, unwavering drive and warm friendship. Those who had the honor of working with Tom know that he was always there to lift others up and mentor his colleagues – and that his generosity had no bounds. He always walked into a room with a joke in his back pocket and was ready to lend an ear to those who needed him. He advocated strongly for the issues and people he most cared about. There are few words that can adequately describe the positive influence he had on those who knew him, but there is no doubt that his legacy will live on, continuing to impact those who never even had the opportunity to meet him.
To Tom, we say: Thank you for your steadfast, lifelong dedication and all that you’ve done to help those in need, both here at home and around the world. Rest easy knowing we’ll carry on the work you started.