To mark the launch of the 2015 June Workplace Giving Month, business leaders came together in Sydney and Melbourne to discuss the role business can play in the Australian community.
In a lunch series hosted by PwC, Richard Murray, the CEO of JB Hi-Fi, Dr Lisa O’Brien, the CEO of The Smith Family and Jenny Geddes, CEO of The Australian Charities Fund discussed the workplace as simply a smarter place for employers and employees to raise funds for charities. Together they called on Australia’s business leaders to join the national campaign to involve one million Australians in workplace giving to raise funds in a low cost, high impact way through their workplaces, contributing much needed resources to charities.
“One Million Donors is designed to raise awareness and build Australian workplace giving to scale. Reaching the 2020 target would see Australian workers and their employers contributing well over $300 million each year to charity*”, said Ms Geddes.
Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family said, “Workplace giving is one of the forms of giving that really makes sense. I urge all Australian workers to get involved in the campaign. Even if an employee chooses to give as little as a 50c or $1 a week out of their pay, when that is combined with their fellow workers and potentially matched by their employer, the funds for the charity sector quickly add up.”
One of the keys to employee involvement is leadership from CEOs and senior executives. JB Hi-Fi has one of Australia’s most successful workplace giving programs. More than 55% of JB Hi-Fi’s 7,000 strong workforce participate in the program. Employee contributions are matched 100% by the organisation. The JB Hi-Fi board and senior management team also give 1% of their salaries to the program. This combined effort has allowed JB Hi-Fi to contribute more than $7.5m to its charity partners in just over seven years.
Mr Murray said, “Of course the primary reason to get involved in a giving program is to support charity. However, what’s also clear is the fantastic boost to morale that our team receive from the program – they’re really proud of what we’re doing in the community. We’re a great example of staff giving small amounts; over time, it certainly adds up to a meaningful amount.”
Ms Geddes added, “The Australian Charities Fund is here to help through our decade long experience in creating high impact giving programs. Imagine the societal impact that we could create if business, government and the charity sector worked together to ignite a giving revolution. Australian workers are ready to play their part,” she said.
Business and charities can find out more about the One Million Donors campaign by visiting 1Mdonors