GAF and Contractors Team Up with Habitat for Humanity to Support Local Families

By Jeff Terry 08-21-2020
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GAF's commitment to protecting what matters most doesn't stop at providing the highest quality roofing materials. We're also committed to investing to strengthen and build up our communities.

That's why we recently launched GAF Community Matters, a national social impact initiative to help our neighbors. We're excited to work with a number of incredible organizations as part of this initiative, including Habitat for Humanity, the top housing-focused non-profit organization in the world. As the leading roofing materials company in North America, we're proud to help Habitat for Humanity put roofs over the heads of families in need of decent, affordable housing. At GAF, we support Habitat's philosophy of helping to provide a hand up, not a handout, to people and families.

Founded in 1976, Habitat has more than 1,500 local affiliates in the United States and works in more than 70 countries. Together with their volunteers, Habitat has constructed or repaired more than 800,000 houses. Many Habitat volunteers are everyday people, but there's also a need for construction professionals—and GAF helps provide those to Habitat, too.

GAF on the Ground

GAF is proud to be among the generous partners donating building materials, and the largest donor of roofing materials, to Habitat for Humanity, but our partnership goes far beyond product donations. Since 2011, our unique Community Contractor Program—which pairs talented GAF-factory certified contractors* with our product donations—has made a huge impact. We have provided over 2,000 roofs for Habitat families, and our goal is to double that by 2023. I've personally volunteered by putting 70 roofs on Habitat homes around the world, which has been an incredible experience.

About 100 GAF-factory certified contractors support at least one Habitat project per year, and we want to grow those numbers. Habitat is active in thousands of communities, which provides a great opportunity for us to bring more people to their important mission. To accomplish this, we need your help.

Getting Started Is Easy

Here's how our partnership works: Habitat for Humanity identifies families who need safe, affordable housing. The Habitat affiliate's construction team designs the home, including a plan for the roof system. GAF donates roofing materials and provides a Limited Warranty, and GAF-certified contractors donate their time to install the roofing system on a Habitat project.

We offer several partnership levels. To become a GAF-Habitat Community Impact Partner, simply register with your Territory Manager or on the GAF Contractor Zone. From there, you can contact your local Habitat affiliate and identify opportunities to engage in upcoming projects, whether they're new builds or rehabs.

Over the course of a calendar year, any contractor that completes one Habitat project by installing a roof on the home becomes a GAF-Habitat Community Contractor. The steps are straightforward: cultivate a relationship with a local affiliate, coordinate the plan to understand the material, prepare and submit the project's spec sheet, and install the roof. GAF will give you a marketing support kit detailing how to leverage the important work you'll be doing to support your business.

A contractor who completes at least five projects over five years is considered a GAF-Habitat Community Champion. These contractors receive an expanded support kit, along with special recognition from GAF as great leaders in our community partnership with Habitat for Humanity.

As your relationship with your local Habitat affiliate develops, you can provide a greater service by suggesting how to design roofs for future homes that are more efficient and less costly to the homeowner.

Giving Back Can Lead to Business Opportunities

Research shows that people consider social and environmental impact when deciding which products and services to purchase. For example, 71% of consumers are willing to pay more for a socially or environmentally responsible product or service, while 78% of Americans believe companies should positively impact society.

Volunteering to provide professional roofing installations for a Habitat project helps promote your business within the community as you meet and work with potential customers.

The marketing support kits you receive as a GAF-Habitat Community Champion help you explain how you're giving back to potential customers. For example, you'll get suggestions for how to explain the GAF-Habitat for Humanity Community Partnership as well as how your company donates labor for roof installations.

You can use these suggestions to write a press release about your project, and share updates and photos with your social media followers. You'll also have the option to showcase your commitment to your local community through partnership pins, stickers, digital badges, and lawn banners that you can display on your vehicles and at Habitat roofing projects.

It Takes a Village

In the roofing sector, businesses grow through networking and community partnerships. We cannot do this work by ourselves. That's why we're partnering with Habitat, and why we need your help to make that partnership work.

We've received so much support and seen a lot of success since we re-energized our GAF-Habitat Community Contractor Program. Prior to COVID-19, the number of projects per month had been increasing significantly, thanks to renewed excitement about our Habitat partnership. Now, we're sharing this message throughout GAF, from our contractor base through the entire Habitat world.

Please join us so more Habitat families can have a safe roof over their heads. Together, we'll help your community and many others.



*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeff Terry serves as Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Sustainability at GAF, North America’s largest roofing manufacturer, leading the development and implementation of the company’s long-term strategy for CSR initiatives. In this role, Jeff also drives community engagement efforts that reinforce GAF’s value of making a lasting impact in the communities in which the company operates both every day and in times of great need.

Prior to joining GAF, Jeff served in a dual role at Amway Corporation as the Global Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Director of Integrated Marketing Communications. During his tenure, Jeff instituted the first sustainability goals for operations and product development. With a career in sustainability spanning more than 20 years, Jeff also held roles with Sears Holdings Corporation, Cone Communications, and Whirlpool Corporation. Jeff has been involved with Habitat for Humanity for more than two decades including developing two corporate partnerships, Vinyl Partners for Humanity and building the Whirlpool/Habitat relationship.

A nationally-recognized speaker on sustainability, Jeff has presented to the United Nations, as well as at many global conferences. He holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science from Clemson University.
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