Making charity international AND local
Corporates are often faced with dilemmas regarding their relationship with charitable giving. Lean too heavily towards ‘board dictated’ charity partnerships and employees won’t feel connected with the cause. Veer too far towards leaving staff to run their own grassroots activities and the business will struggle to capture impacts and outcomes.
These were the issues Innospec were considering when trying to decide on a corporate charitable approach, to supplement the amazing grassroots work employees were already doing. As a global organisation they wanted to adopt an approach that fitted the whole business whilst having equal appeal across all of their locations.
Rather than diving straight into a commonly used corporate partnership we decided to explore the art of the possible for Innospec. We undertook some research and the company’s Executive Leadership Team were presented with a variety of charitable giving models: a traditional international partnership, a pool of national charities or an international dedicated donation fund where Innospec employees were able to nominate charities close to their hearts to receive support. The overriding enthusiasm was for the dedicated donation fund, and so the Innospec Cares programme was launched.
With careful planning and promotion Innospec Cares has become a core part of the businesses social approach and has been widely adopted across Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Employees are able to nominate a worthy local cause to receive a donation and once a quarter applications for funding are reviewed and donations made to those organisations that meet the schemes criteria. In order to encourage direct involvement with the charities nominated, employees are able to apply for generous match funding of their own charitable endeavours. Crucially information capture has been built into the process so for each local charity that the business supports, the key impacts on both the receiving organisation and the Innospec employee alongside case study material is captured. This enables Innospec to be able to report on the positive difference Innospec Cares is making both internally and externally at local, regional and international level.
In 2016, $99,662 was donated through the Innospec Cares programme and the company aims to exceed this total with their on-going 2017 programme. All funding provided by Innospec Cares is in addition to the large sums already donated through the companies longstanding grassroots charitable activities.
The positive outcome for Innospec has been that employees have a corporate charitable programme that means something to them on a local level, local charities feel supported by the business and Innospec have the best of both worlds – an international charitable approach with a truly local feel.