Wearing Our Hearts on Our Sleeves

10th Anniversary Heart of Giving Image

Perhaps sixteenth-century writer John Bunyan said it best: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” That is what NETSCOUT and its employees have done via a philanthropic partnership with the Greater Lowell Community Foundation (GLCF). Since 1997, the GLCF has pursued a mission to improve the quality of life for the people in local communities by connecting caring donors with nonprofit organizations that best serve the causes that matter most to them.

For the past decade, NETSCOUT has provided grants and employee volunteers to the GLCF, supporting the charitable organization’s vital mission. NETSCOUT’s Heart of Giving Community Grant Program has awarded $115,000 to local nonprofits through the GLCF over the past decade. Along with those grants, NETSCOUT employees have volunteered countless hours of service. In recognition of this collaboration, an appreciation event was held on June 13, 2024. In honor of this milestone year for the program, NETSCOUT awarded an additional $46,000 in unrestricted grants to past recipients. As a result, nine grant recipients each received $4,000 on top of the $10,000 previously awarded, and the Greater Lowell Community Foundation received $10,000. This also brings the total awarded through the Heart of Giving Community Grant program to $161,000. 


Heart of Giving Folks posing with awards


Employees Engage in the Grant Selection Process

One of the things that makes NETSCOUT’s Heart of Giving Community Grant Program so unique is how employees are engaged throughout the grant selection process. They learn first-hand about local community needs and can get directly involved, reading grant proposals and helping to select finalists. This process also encourages participation in volunteer service projects, because employees feel they have a greater stake in the grant and its objectives.

It was really interesting to hear the different local nonprofits pitch their programs and services so we could learn about the various issues they are addressing in our community,” says Kim Gilgun, manager for Sales Order Operations at NETSCOUT. “It was very empowering to be in the decision-making process for how NETSCOUT awards these grants. I felt like I had a greater stake in the success of these contributions, which is why I ended up volunteering on weekends to help these charities.

Volunteerism is an important part of NETSCOUT’s culture, which is why the Heart of Giving Community Grant Program is so well received in the company’s Westford, Massachusetts office. An equally popular community grant program is operated out of the company’s Allen, Texas, office, partnering with Communities Foundation of Texas.

Building Lasting Relationships

NETSCOUT’s partnership with GLCF has fostered the building of strong relationships with nonprofit organizations in the local community. Since the program’s inception in 2015, NETSCOUT employees have reviewed more than 100 grant applications, invited 30 organizations into the company’s Westford office (or to a virtual visit, during COVID), and awarded $115,000 in grants through the GLCF. 
One of the more rewarding outcomes is the lasting relationships employees establish with the nonprofits. NETSCOUT employees often continue to volunteer with the organizations, sometimes making it an annual tradition.

NETSCOUT has always been a company with a heart,” concludes Beth Kirsch, director of Stakeholder Engagement at NETSCOUT. “The grant money we provide to these incredibly worthy nonprofits is being used to change lives for the better. It’s very rewarding to be a part of that. And then having a chance to volunteer with these organizations is particularly affirming. Getting to chance to see how we are creating positive, long-lasting change in our own communities is something I truly cherish.

Learn more about our Heart of Giving programs