Casey Crawford is a man who doesn’t like to sit still for too long. Moving briskly through the hallways of his company, Movement Mortgage, this former NFL football player greets employees with quick exchanges and an infectious grin.
Finally, he lands in an oversized chair in his office. His framed Super Bowl jersey hangs on one wall, while another is covered with inspirational quotes and his unusual corporate mission. “Our mission is to love and value people by leading a movement of change in our industry, in corporate culture at large, and in the communities where we work,” says Casey. If that sounds like a tall order for a mortgage business, this 6’6” athletic entrepreneur says his faith inspired him to think beyond typical corporate goals. “When I started this business in 2008, I thought that I’d make all this money and do things for God,” Casey says. “But the Lord turned my plan upside down and revealed a much greater vision with an audacious goal: Use love to transform business into a movement for change.”
Today, the determined tight end that used to move the ball down the field is moving mortgages and ministry light years ahead. Headquartered near Charlotte, North Carolina, Movement Mortgage has grown from four employees to more than 4,000 and has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as the fastest-growing mortgage bank in the country, as well as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies for the past five years.
Movement has also given away almost $26 million to charity through the Movement Foundation. Since its founding in 2012, the foundation has spurred innovative charitable initiatives from the Movement Center and Movement School in Charlotte, North Carolina to the development of a commercial farm to empower growers in Uganda, East Africa. “God called us to love our neighbors,” says Casey. “We do that by taking care of customers…putting them in mortgages they can afford, providing a pleasant experience, and creating a company that actually cares about others.”
Movement also has a unique program to inspire compassion among fellow employees. Their Love Works program gives financial aid to employees facing unexpected needs such as medical bills or crisis counseling. It began with an endowment of $100,000. Today, more than 70 percent of their employees contribute to the fund out of their paycheck, with the company matching their donations dollar-for-dollar. Casey says there is no expectation for employees to profess faith or religious values. He says the mission is to spread love: “Just like Jesus said, we want to let our light shine so that they may see our good works and give glory to the Father who is in heaven.”
Casey admits that his unusual business model has been challenging at times: “You share these audacious ideas with people about giving, and you get a lot of blank stares.” But he found an advocate at NCF. “When I shared my vision with Relationship Manager Dan Glaze at NCF, he immediately understood. He validated my passion, and even offered creative ways to help facilitate it.”
By helping him set up a Giving Fund, a supporting organization, and tax-wise gifts of business stock, Casey says NCF has been instrumental in helping him achieve his giving goals. But it’s not the wise charitable planning that he values most. “There are a lot of donor-advised funds out there,” says Casey. “But for me, the most invaluable element of NCF is their spiritual alignment and our common vision of growing the Kingdom.”
Over the next decade, Casey plans to transfer 100 percent of Movement Mortgage’s shares to the Movement Foundation
even as they continue to operate the company as normal. After taking care of customers and employees, they intend for all dividends to be paid to the foundation. “The vision is that everything beyond our capital requirements would be reinvested back into communities we serve across the U.S.,” says Casey.
“I would love to restore the vision of what it means to be a good corporate citizen.”
On a national scale, Casey hopes to inspire other entrepreneurs to use their businesses to love and value people. He says, “It might be rare today to see companies give like we do, but we believe this is the start of a new movement in business. What if big corporations had their name on facilities that meet people’s needs, not just on places used for entertainment. I would love to restore the vision of what it means to be a good corporate citizen.”
Movement Mortgage has more than 4,000 employees with more than 650 locations across 47 states, and they have given away more than $25.8 million through the Movement Foundation.