Business leaders, over a lunch hosted by the Australian Charities Fund (ACF) in Brisbane, were encouraged to join companies such as Collins Foods, Devine, Flight Centre Travel Group and SEEK in a giving phenomenon known as workplace giving.

“ACF has a vision to see one million Australians giving through their places of work by 2020.  Whilst workplace giving has already achieved considerable success with approximately 150,000 Australians donating in this way; the opportunity to truly revolutionise this space exists.  We’re encouraging all businesses to set-up programs and encourage staff to give to charity in the most cost effective and sustainable way” said Jenny Geddes, ACF’s CEO.

“Business isn’t just about making money.  It’s so important to give people a greater sense of purpose at work – to empower them to be part of something bigger”, shared Meahan Callaghan, HR Director at SEEK – Australia’s leading online employment business.    “Workplace giving is a fabulous way to increase employee engagement and bring that purpose to life. We know staff want to give through the workplace. We make it easy for them to give via their pay and match donations. Over 60% of our people donate and together we feel enormously proud of the support we can offer our charity partners”, said Meahan.

Workplace giving is a simply smarter way for working Australians to donate to charity and most employers match staff donations, making contributions go even further. Research conducted by ACF shows over 80% of employees want to give through the workplace. It’s also a low-cost method for charities to raise funds needed to deliver crucial services.

“A healthy, productive and vibrant society is vital to business success” said Tim Sims, Managing Director at Pacific Equity Partners and Founding Director of ACF. “Business leaders have a responsibility to stakeholders to invest wisely in the community. I’m a passionate advocate of workplace giving because it harnesses the generosity of Australians and the business community in a simple yet powerful way that generates greater returns for each dollar donated.”

Kevin Perkins, Executive Director and retiring CEO of Collins Foods, was honoured at the lunch for his significant contribution to creating a giving culture at work.  In just over five years, more than 55% of team members at Collins Foods, together with the business, customers and shareholders, have donated more than $2.7M to five charity partners.  On receiving the achievement award, Kevin shared “Workplace giving is the right thing to do and it makes business sense.  You want to be a great place to work, and it’s exciting to see team members joining together to be part of a giving movement”.

Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) is one of the many charities benefiting from workplace giving.  AWLQ’s Fundraising Manager, David Hoskot, said “With thousands of deserving animal’s dependant on us for care and rehoming opportunities each year, the regular income stream that workplace giving provides is invaluable for planning and budgeting purposes. We have also found that we can build deeper workplace giving relationships by offering our further staff further engagement via our rehoming, volunteering and fostering programs”.

L-R Kevin Perkins, Tim SimsL-R Tim Sims, Meahan Callaghan, David Hoskot