Dennis Corporation, the winner of the 2010 A/E Philanthropy Award, has made giving back a part of the company culture.

"We've really gone out of our way to give back," said Dan Dennis, president and founder of Dennis Corporation, a 100-person engineering, surveying and construction management firm in Columbia, South Carolina. "We think it's important to be involved in these communities; it's important to leave something behind when the job is done."

The philanthropy award was created this year by ZweigWhite and Deltek in order to recognize the charitable contributions of architecture, engineering and environmental consulting firms.

The award was presented at The Zweig Letter 2010 Hot Firm Conference and Celebration in late October along with a $2,500 donation from Deltek to a charity of the winner's choice.

"Deltek is honored to have sponsored Zweig White's A/E Philanthropy Award 2010," says Eric Brehm, Executive Vice President of Deltek. "Deltek has a long history with the A/E industry and we have witnessed first-hand the significant generosity that firms in this industry have shown to the communities they live in and the communities they serve."

Dennis says it's important for employees to know that the firm isn't just about making a profit.

"Don't get me wrong, that's important," he says. "But we're also giving away money, time and talent and that creates a synergy that makes us different."

Dennis Corporation has donated over $251,000 since 2005 and allocated many hours toward charities and non-profits. The firm has supported more than 200 organizations, including the National Down Syndrome Association, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Toys for Tots as well as several local organizations.

An organization that receives constant support from the firm is Family Connection, a community-based, family-focused organization in South Carolina that provides support to families with children of special needs.

Dennis said the organization is especially important to him because shortly after he started Dennis Corporation, his daughter was born with Down Syndrome. Family Connections helped him and his wife by having them meet with parents of a child with a similar condition who had been going through the experience longer.

The organization has become important to the firm's employees, some of whom now sit on the board.

Because of the firm's continuous involvement in Family Connection, Dennis is asking that Deltek donate the $2,500 to the organization.