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Collective giving in work trial to shake up corporate philanthropy


3 June 2019 at 4:32 pm
Maggie Coggan
Australia’s first collective workplace giving program will be trialed in Westpac offices across the country in a bid to grow the amount of money employees give, and the connection they have to the cause.


Maggie Coggan | 3 June 2019 at 4:32 pm


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Collective giving in work trial to shake up corporate philanthropy
3 June 2019 at 4:32 pm

Australia’s first collective workplace giving program will be trialed in Westpac offices across the country in a bid to grow the amount of money employees give, and the connection they have to the cause.

In partnership with the Westpac Group, Good2Give will run the Giving Circles at Work Program to determine the potential of collective giving in the workplace as a corporate philanthropy model.

While giving circles made up of individuals or foundations that come together to jointly fund social change have proven to be highly effective, it is yet to be trialed in corporate workplaces.

Lisa Grinham, CEO of Good2Give, told Pro Bono News giving circles were effective in educating and bringing people together on a particular cause or issue in the community. She said she was excited to see how effective the model would be in a corporate environment.

“We believe this will actually make the employees more connected to the particular cause and to the charity,” Grinham said.

“We’re looking to test if they are giving more to a particular cause, or if they start to get involved in terms of volunteering or other ways of getting involved in a particular charity.”

There are a number of workplaces in Australia that already match donations dollar-for-dollar, but Grinham said that by introducing collective giving into the mix, it could increase the amount of corporate money flowing to the charity sector.

“We are obviously hoping this is a really successful trial, and that we can roll out best practice around giving circles at work and different companies can increase the amount of charitable giving they do,” she said.

Siobhan Toohill, Westpac Group head of sustainability, said the company had been matching employee donations to Australian charities since 1996, and taking part in the trial would help Westpac see if it could give more efficiently.  

“In 2018 more than $6 million was collectively donated to more than 650 charities through our Matching Gifts program,” Toohill said.  

“Taking part in this trial helps us explore even more ways to support our employees to make a difference in the issues and causes that matter to them.”

Grinham said the trial would kick off in late 2019, with an evaluation report publicly released by the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University in mid-2020.   


Maggie Coggan  |  Journalist  |  @MaggieCoggan

Maggie Coggan is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

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One comment

  • Ben says:

    Hi Maggie,
    Thanks for sharing this story.
    I’m not sure that I understand from your article what a “giving circle” is?
    Please can you elaborate?
    Thanks
    Ben

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