Tesco Ireland: Charity of the year

Company Description:
Tesco Ireland is a subsidiary of Tesco plc which operates supermarkets in 11 countries. It operates 79 supermarkets across the Republic of Ireland, employing over 11,000 people. The stores offer a wide range of Irish and international brands and own-brand goods, and Tesco is the market leader serving over one million customers a week.

Business Issue:
To co-ordinate and focus our charitable and community activities to bring about a great benefit to the community, boost staff morale and enhance the reputation of Tesco nationally.

Solution Applied:
Through its Charity of the Year programme, Tesco Ireland partners a major national community-based Charity, active in the areas of healthcare, the elderly, disability or the education of children, for one year. The co-ordinated efforts of staff and customers are focused on raising money for that Charity throughout the year. Our Charity of the Year has exclusive national access to all our stores and is given very high visibility in-store for its fund-raising merchandise, collection boxes and activities. Our staff form relationships with the Charity’s local representatives and they meet regularly to plan activities and review progress. Monies raised are for specific community-based projects that benefit people all over Ireland. We try to ensure that the money raised in each community goes back into the community if at all possible.

Company Benefits:
Tangible benefits are delivered in terms of staff morale and loyalty, community relations at local level, and company reputation and relationships at national level.

Stakeholder Benefits:
Aside from the substantial sums raised, the charities involved to date have reported strong additional benefits in terms of profile-raising, building their own teams at community level and raising the awareness of their cause amongst the million or more customers who visit a Tesco store every week. Between 2000 and 2003, the Tesco Ireland Charity of the Year programme raised over €1.5 million for local communities.

The importance of the Charity’s own local and regional representatives was highlighted a few years ago, when there was a perceived lack of co-ordination between the Charity and Tesco stores at a local level in some locations. It was felt that some fund-raising opportunities were missed as a result. We therefore expanded the selection criteria to ensure that the chosen Charity had a network of proactive local representatives. Strong relationships between the Charity and our stores and staff are therefore formed from the outset and have led to more staff and customers becoming involved, more activities being organised, more awareness for the Charity, more fun being enjoyed and more money being raised for the Charity of the Year.

• Every year we invite proposals from interested charities whose operations fit our criteria
• To encourage as many staff and stores as possible to participate we measure the numbers of stores actively participating and the amount raised by each. Fresh targets are set each year and we aim to increase the overall sum raised every year.

Solution Champion:
Dermot Breen, Director of Corporate Affairs, dermot.breen@tesco.ie