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Workplace Giving: The key to connecting at work

77% of millennials rate working for a socially conscious company as their most important employment consideration.

Sometimes lovingly labelled “the avocado toast generation”, those born between 1980 and 2000 are the growing force in the workplace set to make up almost three-quarters of all Australian employees by 2025.

It’s a generation including everyone from recent graduates to parents with children, but it seems this group has much more in common than a love of café brunches. 19 to 30-year-olds are looking for a job that does more than just pay the bills and instead, are demanding to work for an organisation they can be proud of – not because of its financial results but because of its social contribution.

Workplace Giving programs are becoming very popular for those organisations who are competing for this socially conscious talent. As it’s Workplace Giving Month, this month is the perfect time to discuss just important these partnerships are for charitable organisations like Be Someone For Someone and how everybody wins.

How it works

Workplace giving is where charities and employers team up, giving employees the chance to help the most vulnerable in the community through a pre-tax donation directly from their wage. It’s the easiest and most cost effective way for employees to make a difference to the lives of those in need whilst limiting the immediate financial impact by receiving the tax benefit straight away rather than waiting until the end of the financial year.

For example, a donation of $20, will only cost the employee c $12.60, whilst the charity will receive the full $20. Many companies also match staff donations, so the value of the contribution can multiply.

A win for employees

As an organisation that experiences the generosity of our supporters every day, we’ve seen how great workplace giving programs can build great workplace cultures. Staff who feel good about contributing to the community feel more connected to their colleagues, which helps tackle workplace loneliness too.

But don’t just take our word for it.

Improving Employee Satisfaction

JB HI FI has almost 80% of its team members involved in its workplace giving program, Helping Hands. Rachel Riordan, from the committee says her workforce is hooked on the helper’s high of donating directly from their wages.

“COVID-19 has obviously created some challenges for us all, yet those involved in Helping Hands have continued to regularly donate.”

“I’m pleased to say that we’ve had really positive feedback…I think it’s true to say that we all appreciate that as other forms of fundraising have been difficult, workplace giving donations are now more important than ever.”

Boosting Business results

Employees aren’t the only ones that feel the rewards. Businesses that show their social responsibility through initiatives like workplace giving programs see higher returns and improved long-term success.

“Consumers are attracted to companies that are committed to corporate social responsibility (CSR),” Scott Amy, Forbes Business Council Member.

“Keeping all things constant, customers are more likely to choose a company with higher CSR performance that aligns with their core values and preferences.

“CSR enhances the reputation and credibility of a firm and deepens customer loyalty and trust.”

It’s simple, quick and worthwhile.

By donating directly through their payroll, there is no need for employees to remember to make a payment each month. It’s the simplicity of the process that has many calling these initiatives the “unsung hero of individual giving”.

“We have been inspired that so many organisations have connected with WGA to share that their teams are continuing to support those across our community most in need,” Jenny Geddes, CEO of Workplace Giving Australia.

“Encouraging teams to give through work is one of the simplest and most effective ways to do so.”

“In times of confusion, knowing that this is a network that has a broader purpose and is wanting to be part of the solution is powerful.”

Creating a 3-way win

At Be Someone For Someone, we’re passionate about helping people who are cut off from the community to live healthy more connected lives. Our high impact programs support those feeling most isolated to really feel valued again, but it takes money and that’s where the generosity of our supporters comes in.

Having worked in human resources with large corporates for more than 30 years, Head of Be Someone For Someone Jo Winwood knows that workplace giving is an amazing opportunity to tackle loneliness on a grand scale, but appreciates that it needs to work for everyone concerned.

“There is a lot of competition for the financial support of corporates in the NFP sector, so we are super committed to making sure that our corporate partnership programs help businesses meet their strategic objectives”, said Jo. “These typically include staff engagement, building consumer trust and showing community spirit at a time when corporate reputation is a key competitive advantage when attracting talented teams, consumers and investors”, she said.

We also make sure that our partnerships aren’t just about the $ - we help the organisation and their staff, even customers, to be as involved as much with our work as they would like and to really see and feel the impact of their support, either directly, or through sharing the good news stories.

Be Someone For Someone is in a super position to offer these benefits to organisations, their employees, customers and even shareholders.

“Where we are lucky is that we do understand the corporate sector, we certainly know how use our resources to make a real impact in people’s lives and how to help all stakeholders see and feel the difference their support makes. We are part of a large national organisation with an experienced team and strong corporate infrastructure to support our corporate partners, a strong brand and reputation, but we are small and agile enough to be able to tailor our partnership to suit each corporate’s strategic objectives,” Jo says.

“The support of our founding company Feros Care allows us to spend every dollar donated on impactful programs and meaningful advocacy.”

Now you can see the benefits of workplace giving for you, your business and your community, why not get your colleagues on-board by setting up a program at your organisation?

If you are interested in hearing more about how we could tailor a workplace giving program or other corporate partnership with your organisation and tackle loneliness together, please contact Jo Winwood, Head of Be Someone For Someone [email protected] on 0475 970 763.

With the support of you, your colleagues and your employees, we can tackle loneliness together.