Time and money are under pressure today and that’s true for companies as well as individuals. Despite this, many people continue to offer much needed support for charities and local community organisations and schools. A business may offer employees a chance to get funding for their chosen cause through a number of different ways, for example through matched funding, by recognising volunteering with rewards of cash or goods-in-kind or by facilitating employees’ fund-raising activities at work. For some companies, this is ad hoc, but Rabobank has operated a Partnership Fund very successfully for the last five years which has engaged employees and has channelled funding to 60 community organisations chosen by their staff.
How it works
Rabobank’s Partnership Fund recognises and rewards employees’ commitment to their local community by offering the opportunity to nominate an organisation of their choice for funding. The fund is open for nominations every quarter, through an online application form, and the top three organisations, schools or charities voted by staff receive €2000 each.
One week each quarter, employees can nominate a charity of their choice via a survey (3 questions) on the company intranet. They describe the social impact that €2000 would have on this organisation and the services they offer in the community. Typically up to eight community organisations are nominated each quarter. Voting is open for a week during which the nominators enthusiastically lobby their colleagues to vote for their particular cause. The three winners are communicated widely via the intranet and the company’s internal e-zine.
From the business perspective, the Partnership Fund supports 12 community organisations each year and this support is highly visible within the employee population. Employees, whether as nominators or voters, are actively and enthusiastically involved.
The Partnership Fund benefits community organisations and provides valuable recognition for employees who volunteer in their local community. The Fund has huge support within the employee population with approximately half the staff voting each quarter. Employees have the chance to nominate causes that matter to them personally and have the chance to re-nominate every twelve months. Many of the organisations supported are smaller, less well-known charities where €2000 can have a significant impact. They also gain from the awareness-raising efforts of the employee supporters who publicise the cause and try to win their colleagues’ votes.
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