Fidessa Case Study: Launching a Volunteering Programme

molly@benefacto.org | 9 November 18

You’ve made the bold decision to champion an employee volunteering programme at your company. You’re excited and empowered, but perhaps a little nervous about the potential challenges ahead.

This article brings together some of the reflections from the team at Fidessa, a financial services company which joined the Benefacto ranks in Spring 2018. They had an incredibly successful launch, but faced their fair share of obstacles along the way. They discuss how they overcome them and how these lessons can be applied to other firms, like yours, who are looking to develop a volunteering programme.

It started with a grad

During an interview, a candidate for Fidessa’s graduate scheme asked about the company’s CSR policy. Flora, who recruits for the scheme, was embarrassed to say that they didn’t really have one. Determined to give a different response the next time this question came up, Flora set up a committee of dedicated pioneers who would focus on two areas: environmental impact and volunteering.

The committee is comprised of colleagues from departments throughout the company, which has been hugely beneficial – bringing people from different teams together has created a broad base of support throughout the business. This not only helped with the smooth passage of the volunteering policy by proving extensive backing for it, but the committee continues to be a great vehicle for spreading the volunteering message far and wide.

Manager buy-in: challenge accepted

After the policy was introduced, the next hurdle was ensuring manager buy-in. This can often be a key to success as it shows employees at all levels that volunteering is supported from the top. It transforms taking time away from your desk as something to avoid into something beneficial for yourself, your team and the wider business.

Flora arranged for Team Benefacto to attend a managers-only event to provide them with information on the benefits of volunteering, to talk about our charity partners and to answer any questions. This was a fantastic opportunity to discuss why and how they could not only support but actively encourage their teams to volunteer.

Tips for success

We received a large number of volunteer bookings in the first week of Fidessa’s launch. This initial success has remained consistent throughout their membership so far, and we’re thrilled that it’s going so well. Here are Flora’s top tips for getting off to a great start:

  1. when creating a CR committee, make sure to include colleagues from different teams. A diverse group of people will improve your chances of spreading the message about volunteering more widely throughout the office
  2. inform new recruits and graduates about their volunteering allowance. Suggest volunteering as a great way to bond with new teammates and have it on employees’ radars from an early stage
  3. personalise the volunteering experience: send thank you emails when a colleague goes out to volunteer and ask them how their session went; chase up with them in person rather than email if they’ve committed to volunteer but not yet signed up; set up a selfie wall in common areas like the kitchen or cafeteria where staff can stick up photos from their day. This will help mark volunteering as a fun and interactive experience that’s central to company culture

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