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Winners of First Workplace Giving Awards Announced

16 November 2016 at 3:47 pm
Ellie Cooper
JB Hi-Fi has taken out the top prize in Australia’s inaugural Workplace Giving Excellence Awards.

Ellie Cooper | 16 November 2016 at 3:47 pm


Winners of First Workplace Giving Awards Announced
16 November 2016 at 3:47 pm

JB Hi-Fi has taken out the top prize in Australia’s inaugural Workplace Giving Excellence Awards.

The awards, launched by Australian Charities Fund, recognise the “phenomenal growth” of this form of giving and honour the generosity of Australian workers and workplace giving programs.

Recently released figures from the tax office revealed that 162,500 Australians donated a total of $42.5 million to charity through workplace giving in 2014/15.

JB Hi-Fi won a gold award for best overall program, outstripping BHP Billiton and SEEK who each won a silver award.

“I’m immensely proud of the JB team – it’s wonderful to see their generosity being recognised through these awards,” JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray said.

“Of course our Helping Hands program provides important funding to charities, but it has also become an intrinsic part of who we are.  

“I encourage other employers to embrace workplace giving and benefit from the cultural boost and sense of purpose it brings to your organisation.”

The Helping Hands initiative, started eight years ago, allows JB Hi-Fi employees to donate to nine charity partners via their payroll, with all donations matched by the company.

More than 4,700 staff members contribute to the program each week, which represents almost 70 per cent of its employees nationally.

JB Hi-Fi also won gold for the most innovative partnership award, along with not-for-profit organisation Redkite.

As a Redkite Leading Partner, the company has raised more than $500,000 for the Cancer Journey Program, helping Redkite reach the families of 240 children with cancer, supporting them with financial, emotional and educational services.

This year, JB Hi-Fi staff and customers also backed Redkite’s superhero campaign, which sold superhero donation cards designed by JB Hi-Fi staff members. The campaign was taken on by the national team, with staff dressing up in superhero costumes.

“We’re enormously grateful to JB Hi-Fi for its incredible support of Redkite and in turn for helping Redkite do what we do best – supporting young people through their cancer journey,” Redkite CEO Jenni Seton said.

“Our workplace giving relationship with JB Hi-Fi is a true partnership. Working closely with JB Hi-Fi allowed us to implement an incredibly creative superhero campaign ensuring it resonated with both the largely millennial workforce and with JB Hi-Fi’s customers.”

The Give Where You Live Foundation with Ford Australia, Room to Read with the Atlassian Foundation and Stewart House with NSW Department of Education won silver in the partnership award.

Atlassian won gold for the best launch or refresh from a large employer while Starbucks Coffee Australia was highly commended.

Macquarie Telecom won gold for the best launch or refresh from a small employer, with BDO, Greenhill & Co. Australia and Pacific Equity Partners each winning silver.

ASIC won a silver award for the best public sector program.

The awards were part of the One Million Donors Campaign, spearheaded by The Australian Charities Fund, which aims to see one million Australians donating to charity direct from their pay by 2020.

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer, who launched the One Million Donors Campaign in 2014 with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, spoke at the awards.

“I would like to congratulate all the entrants to the awards, and thank them and their staff for their generosity,” O’Dwyer said.

“I am proud to support One Million Donors, and invite all business leaders and working Australians to join this campaign to help transform the way the charitable sector is funded.”

Australian Charities Fund CEO Jenny Geddes said workplace giving strengthened Australian society.

“It’s humbling to see such a broad range of organisations – small and large, government and private – leading the way with workplace giving,” Geddes said.

“They are enabling working Australians to support charity in this highly efficient and ethical way ensuring their employees’ hard earned dollars will go further in the community.  

“In the process, these organisations are engaging their staff and building a sense of collective pride in their achievements.”

The Workplace Giving Awards were judged by a panel from corporate, philanthropic, government, community and academic sectors, including Sarah Davies, CEO of Philanthropy Australia, Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family and Andrew Young, CEO of The Centre for Social Impact.

Ellie Cooper  |  Journalist  |  @ProBonoNews

Ellie Cooper is a journalist covering the social sector.

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