In February 2016, we officially announced our participation in the Pledge 1% movement, applying a simple yet transformative idea: donate 1% of product, 1% of equity, 1% of profit or 1% of employee time to support non-profit causes around the world. Employees, shareholders, customers and the community all benefit when a company builds giving back into its DNA and, for us, it’s one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
The programme wasn’t our first charitable bid; our employees were already using their paid volunteering days to support charitable projects and taking advantage of our Matched Funding Scheme. But this was a natural progression and the biggest step we’d made towards committing a portion of our success to our community stakeholders and social impact. We are growing faster than ever before, and with a chiselled heart in the bedrock of our company, we want to continue building a kind and forward-thinking enterprise on top of it, supporting the communities that we serve in a way that is meaningful.
Since making our Pledge 1% commitment, our employees have embraced it wholeheartedly, mobilising campaigns and flagging worthy causes for us to back.
In December, we ran one of our biggest mass fundraising and global volunteering projects to date, with ‘The Apprentice Week.’ The mission was for employees to work as a team to make as much money as possible for a charity of their choice. Starting with just $250 per team, ten groups found innovate ways of increasing it, from selling tickets to pie senior execs, to drawing caricatures and completing expense claims! From their week’s efforts, our entrepreneurs raised $30,000 for charities of their choice.
A programme we’re particularly proud of is our participation in the Right to Read scheme. Established in the UK as a way for businesses to make a positive impact on education, employees have paid time off to volunteer as reading partners to children, to support their literacy development, while improving their confidence, communication skills and attitude towards reading. Similarly, in San Francisco, we took part in Jump Start, a national early education organisation, where we prepared 100 literacy kits for children to encourage them to read throughout the summer. We also operate Code Club in three locations, to teach children aged 9-11 about coding and computing, and have seen them complete projects using applications like Scratch, Python, and HTML.
This year, we are hyper focused on diversity and inclusion throughout our global organisation. We hosted our fourth Annual Women in Industries Panel in San Francisco, featuring Corinne Sklar, CMO of Bluewolf, an IBM Company; Tara Ryan, CMO of Skuid; Poly Sumner, Chief Adoption Officer at Salesforce; and Allyson Fryhoff, Chief Revenue Officer at Salesforce.org, to discuss how to get to the next level towards your “dream” job. They shared their personal stories of career progression and the tips/lessons they learned that helped get them where they are today. We also partnered with Salesforce and Bluewolf in Sydney to host a “Men as Allies” discussion and continue to expand our efforts across global internal mentoring programmes and quarterly foundation activities.
We were extremely proud to have sponsored the ninth annual Concert for the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals, presented by Salesforce.org in conjunction with Dreamfest last month. Held in San Francisco, the concert directly benefits the hospitals, helping to advance paediatric health in our community and worldwide.
NewVoiceMedia is joined by an impressive network of entrepreneurs and companies across the globe that have committed to philanthropic efforts through the Pledge 1% movement. We’re proud to be able to contribute to the efforts of creating social impact on a global scale, while enabling our employees to support the causes that are important to them.
Even back in 2007, Deloitte’s Volunteer Impact Survey revealed that 62 percent of millennials would prefer to work for a company that provides opportunities to apply their skills to benefit non-profits. More recently, the Millennial Impact Report, released in 2014 by Achieve Consulting Inc, found that 94 percent of millennials are interested in using their skills to benefit a cause, while 57 percent wish that there were more company-wide service days available to them.
In a stark mismatch, Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey shows a negative shift in millennials’ feelings about business’ motivations and ethics. Only a minority believe businesses behave ethically (48 percent vs. 65 percent in 2017) and that business leaders are committed to helping improve society (47 percent vs. 62 percent in 2017).
Millennials will account for 75 percent of the workforce by 2025. Attracting and retaining them begins with workplace culture and making the world more compassionate, innovative and sustainable.
It’s not just millennials, though. In a new study of U.S.-based Fortune 1000 employees conducted by Povaddo, for nearly 60 percent of today’s employees, there is an expectation that corporate America and CEOs should play a more active role in addressing some of the most systemic societal issues facing the country. This point of view is consistent across employees of all ages, gender and geographies.
The study found that significant majorities of employees who feel their company encourages them to support causes they care about are more likely to recommend their company as a place to work, stay longer, and increase their overall engagement at work. Yet, despite these findings, only 37 percent of employees in the Povaddo study said they felt encouraged to support causes they care about.
The good news is: Your organisation can step up and make a difference.
As Marc Benioff told Forbes last year, “The business of business is improving the state of the world.”
NewVoiceMedia has been named in the inaugural FT Future 100, an annual list compiled by The Financial Times which celebrates fast growing UK businesses that are positively contributing to the future of their sector, business, and society. Read our press release.
Find out how you can build giving back into your company culture at www.pledge1percent.org.