KBC and the Alzheimer Society: A charity partnership that ensures tangible sustainable impact

Members News - Feb 26, 2018

KBC Bank Ireland runs a Sustainability programme which shares a vision for better, brighter communities, supports innovation, strives for long-term sustainable impact and builds a culture within KBC that reflects the Bank of You, their brand proposition to customers in the Irish market. KBC Bank drives this vision through four diverse focus domains: entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental responsibility and health & wellbeing. Their health & wellbeing domain is particularly passionate about charity sponsorship, fundraising and support.

Every two years KBC Bank chooses a lead charity partner to work with, support and fundraise for.Charities pitch for the partnership to a panel of KBC representatives. Their pitch must include options for tangible impact, areas in need of most support, potential opportunities for professional skill share and volunteering opportunities that are compelling and meaningful. KBC Bank believes a charity partnership should go beyond fundraising and ensure tangible sustainable impact.

Business in the Community Ireland facilitated the selection process by engaging with potential charity partners to get project proposals that would meet KBC Bank’s criteria.

The Alzheimer Society of Ireland (ASI) pitched that ‘together, in partnership with KBC, we can tackle one of the most pressing public health challenges facing this country today’. For their part they hoped to gain:

  • Increased national awareness
  • Innovative service solutions
  • Extended reachability
  • Professional expertise

KBC employees voted in the ASI as the new charity partner for 2017. This vote recorded the highest employee charity engagement year to date.  They developed a diverse year-long campaign for the new partnership, utilising this engagement, supporting their aim of sustainable long-term development and reflecting their brand identity.

Raise national awareness

KBC employees developed and lead the first ever KBC Hub2Hub relay race in aid of the ASI. This initiative saw over 70 employees run across Ireland, to every KBC location, in a non-stop relay, for three days and two nights. KBC Bank branded and tracked this live on social media and with video sharing through all their channels for 72 hours. This event alone raised over €50,000 with the Bank matching the donation bringing it to over €100,000. Over 800 hours volunteer hours were recorded.

Innovative service solutions

As Ireland’s digital-first bank, KBC also looked at how new technology could help ASI with its fundraising. To make it easier for members of the public to pledge a donation, the bank provided the ASI with contactless donation docks. The “Tap to Give” digital devices provide a quick and hassle-free way for people to donate by tapping their contactless ATM card. The terminals have already proven invaluable “on the go” as a fundraising aide at the charity’s Annual Women’s and National flagship day events. In the five months since the Tap & Give digital devices were introduced, donations to the charity have increased with customers donating on average €7 per “tap”.

Extended reachability

KBC Bank raised awareness of the ASI information service throughout the Hub2Hub relay. Throughout the year hubs offered their offices to ASI staff and volunteers for their national campaigns. The bank embedded their partnership into local communities with KBC hub staff acting as ASI ambassadors to raise awareness.

Professional expertise

Internal KBC departments completed day long workshops with the ASI on contracts, employee engagement and other areas of best practice. At a local level, over thirty KBC staff  gave more than 150 volunteer hours to support renovations of ASI Care Centres in Kildare and Blackrock. They also participated in storytelling sessions with ASI service users and gave digital and IT support to staff at the centres.

KBC Bank drove each of these initiatives through press and all social channels, with supporting imagery, unique video content and marketing materials. These activities reinforced the brand identity in the market highlighting KBC passions for innovation, proactivity and accessibility. They finished 2017 on a high with almost €130,000 raised through a series of fundraising efforts by KBC staff. The funds raised will be used by the charity to fund iPads across its 52 day-care centres, to upgrade the ASI website as the primary source of information and contact for those affected by dementia, and to run the ASI Mobile Unit for one year.

How BITCI supports its members to select strategic charity partners

Business in the Community Ireland supports its members to select strategic charity partners by

  • researching societal issues that are relevant to the business sector or location
  • facilitating focus groups with employees or other stakeholders
  • brokering relationships with potential partners
  • soliciting project funding proposals that deliver benefit for charities through the engagement of employees’ time and skills

If you would like to find out more about how we can support you in developing strategic charity partnerships, please contact our Membership Executive Lorraine O’Toole lotoole@bitc.ie