Testing the “Brand” of Workplace Giving
6 December 2012 at 10:51 am
A compelling and relevant brand needs to be created so giving in the workplace can be promoted more fully in Australia, according to a new report.
The report, from the Australian Charities Fund, tested whether the 'brand' Workplace Giving was helping or hindering the growth of giving in the workplace with the help of Sydney-based brand agency, Doppio.
The ‘testing’ focused on a workshop attended by a range of stakeholders, comprising 10 charities, 3 employers and 3 intermediaries with the Australian Charities Fund, Charities Aid Foundation and United Way also represented.
“The ambition for Workplace Giving requires a bold move from the brand’s current perceptions as a process-orientated, technical and intangible payroll scheme, to an ambitious, affecting, relevant and distinctive program,” Melissa Bertolini
Owner and Managing Director of Doppio said in the report.
“Currently, the concept of workplace giving is not on its own aligned to a particular purposeful outcome (or to put it another way), it is inherently intangible and therefore arguably lacks the substance and emotional connection required to make it a compelling proposition for employers to embrace.
“Workshop participants agreed that this is further complicated by the intangibility of the term ‘social impact’.This results in an ‘all head, no heart’ positioning which presents more like a ‘tick the box’ exercise rather than a meaningful opportunity of social responsibility."
ACF CEO Edward Kerr says while momentum around workplace giving is growing, there remains significant untapped potential in growing donations to charity through workplace giving.
“While the concept is better known the biggest challenge is to inspire employers and employees to work together to find causes to make a difference.”
Kerr agreed that the workplace giving ‘brand’ needed a tag line to help inspire both employees and employees to nurture ‘the spirit of giving’.
The report said the role of the ‘heart’ in the brand’s positioning and personality needs to come to the fore to provide more emotional engagement with the notion of giving and collective impact.
“Inspiring and motivating senior leaders in employers to engage with workplace giving in its current positioning is challenging,” Kerr said.
The workshop explored at length the potential role of workplace giving in fostering the concept of a giving legacy across the Australian community. “The emergence of the concept of ‘business doing good’ provides a broad and topical framework within which this brand could operate,” it said.
In particular, the report said there was great potential seen in fostering the concept of the ‘power of many’ – focusing on the impact achievable when many come together to support a cause.
In relation to senior company leadership, the report said a much stronger pitch around employee engagement and reputational benefits is needed along with a collaboration of stakeholders to promote the benefits of giving in the workplace to business leaders.
In relation to inspiring individual employees it said there needs to be more emphasis on outcomes or engagement with the charities being supported.
The report commissioned by The Australian Charities Fund (ACF) on ‘branding’ issues related to the concept of ‘workplace giving’ can be found online.