Tesco Ireland: Charity of the Year Programme

Company Description:
Tesco is Ireland’s leading food retailer serving over 1 million customers weekly from 107 stores throughout Ireland and employing over 13,000 people. We are committed to delivering low prices, value, choice, range and service. In addition, we are also proud supporters of the Irish food industry and last year alone Tesco bought €655 million worth of Irish food and drink exports, ranking Tesco ahead of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the USA.

Business Issue:
Local communities have increasing expectations of our contribution to communities. One way for us to demonstrate that commitment is by mobilising the energy, compassion and generosity of our staff and customers to support local and national charities. In 2000, we launched our Charity of the Year programme to raise significant funds and awareness of a partnered charity.

Solution Applied:

  • Charities complete a straightforward application form against set criteria which are then shortlisted.
  • Following presentations from selected charities, a summary is communicated to all staff who then vote for their preferred charity.
  • At national level, a close working relationship is established between the charity’s head office management and Tesco. Meetings take place on a regular basis to review progress and continually improve operations.
  • Store staff form close relationships with the charity’s local representatives and meet regularly to plan activities, listen to feedback and review progress.
  • Targets are set for each store, based on head count and are tracked and communicated monthly.

Company Benefits:

  • Improved staff moral, community relations at local level, company reputation.
  • Helps us develop stronger links between our stores and neighbourhoods.

Stakeholder Benefits:
Since 2000, over €6.5 million has been raised for 7 charities. According to Paul Daly, Chief Executive, Down Syndrome Ireland, “You have given us a national awareness platform which we will build on and the confidence to say to Government and the public – ‘look at the belief Tesco has and see what they’re doing’. We’ve shown how your willingness to do something you are not obliged to do, must be matched by those whose obligation it is”.

With 106 stores nationally, it is essential the chosen charity has a strong national network and access to proactive local representatives to work with.

Strong relationships between the charity and stores must be formed from the outset, leading to greater participation, activities being organised and awareness for the charity.

Departments Involved:
Corporate Affairs and every department, store and depot across the company.

Solution Champion:
Patricia Harte, Corporate Responsibility Manager, patricia.harte@tesco.ie