Blog posted on the 02 June 2014, by Trent Moy – The Commonwealth Bank Community Blog

The words of Helen Keller summarises how much we’re able to achieve when we combine our efforts.

Workplace giving is one such example - when we join forces and give collectively, we are able to achieve so much more. Our Staff Community Fund, Australia’s oldest workplace giving program, has more than 11,400 of our current and retired staff donating on a fortnightly basis, with all contributions being matched dollar-for-dollar by the Group. Each donation may seem small when viewed alone, but when combined, we are able to make a big difference to the causes we support, and achieve real change in our communities.

This June marks the fourth annual Workplace Giving Month, and sees the national launch of the Australian Charities Fund’s ‘One Million Donors’ campaign, which aims to have 1 million Australians donating through their workplace by 2020, with the end goal of achieving real social impact through workplace giving.

I caught up with Jenny Geddes, CEO of the Australian Charities Fund (ACF) to discuss the importance of workplace giving programs, and the launch of ‘One Million Donors’.

What is the ‘One Million Donors’ campaign?

‘One Million Donors’ is aimed at helping all working Australians understand that giving to society through their workplace is simply a smarter way to donate.  Our work has shown us that Australians are very generous and they want to know how their donations are making a difference.

We’ve launched the One Million Donors campaign to draw attention to the fact that this form of giving is largely untapped.  According to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), there are 3,500 programs generating more than $60 million, annually. However, in most businesses throughout Australia, workplace giving has low awareness which actually means that only a fraction of working Australians (under 2%) are giving this way.

Who is the Australian Charities Fund?

We’re a not-for-profit social enterprise and are one of the architects, drivers and thought leaders of workplace giving in this country. We’re on a mission to help working Australians appreciate that workplace giving is the most effective and efficient way to support charity. We advise employers and charities to help them raise awareness of, and drive participation in workplace giving.

What is workplace giving?

Workplace giving allows employees to donate money to charity through pre-tax payroll deductions. It’s easy, convenient, tax-effective, and enables employees to be part of a bigger giving movement. The Commonwealth Bank matches staff donations dollar-for-dollar, and we encourage all employers to do the same, making their staff’s contributions twice as powerful. Importantly, workplace giving is a great way for employers to build staff morale and position themselves as an employer of choice, whilst investing in the community.