Team London gives workplace giving a boost!
This week is Small Charity Week and yesterday we saw a boost to workplace giving through the launch of Team London Skill Up programme. The programme will see some of London’s top companies such as Twitter, Citi and CIPD staff volunteering their time in order to train and advise small charities so that they can broaden their skill sets and increase the impact of their work.
As Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “The Team London Skill-UP programme will support hard working charity staff and give them access to top class learning and development opportunities…which will make a great difference to the services they provide to the people and communities of London”.
As part of the Growing Giving Parliamentary Inquiry we examined how workplaces are already creating a culture of giving, what the barriers are to developing giving in the workplace and how we unlock the potential to embed giving cultures within businesses across the country.
The final report ‘Creating an Age of Giving’ contained a recommendation that businesses should develop a strategic plan for workplace giving building on existing successful initiatives. It’s extremely positive to high-profile businesses taking the initiative to sign up as partners and focusing on tackling the skills gap and funding challenges, which are the main barriers preventing small charities from growing.
There is a clear business case for workplace giving. Businesses that provide opportunities for their staff to get involved with charitable activity themselves benefit through improved staff morale and staff retention, which can have a consequent reduction on hiring costs, offering a simple way that businesses can help themselves by helping others. Research commissioned by V found that 58 per cent of employees said that they would be very or fairly likely to volunteer if their employer offered them help to do so.
With a new Conservative majority government, it is useful to note that the Conservative party manifesto contained a pledge to enable 15 million workers to take three days paid leave to volunteer. The policy would mean every employee of a company with more than 250 staff and every public sector worker would be entitled to take leave in order to volunteer, giving millions of people a great chance to get involved with supporting a cause that they care about.
While we haven’t seen the proposals emerging from the Government on this yet, the commitment to encourage volunteering is one which charities have indicated is one of the most important for the sector so it will be interesting to watch if and when the government brings forward their proposals for this pledge. In the meantime, it is exciting to see initiatives like the Skill-UP programme with businesses taking initiative to enable their staff to volunteer and make a positive social contribution to society – we hope that their commitment will encourage others!
Posted 16 June 2015