As you may recall, earlier in the year CAF launched the Parliamentary Inquiry on Growing Giving – looking at the different opportunities that exist for people to engage with charity throughout their lifetime.
After the first stage of the inquiry examined the relationship between young people and charity, the second stage is focusing on the ways that people are able to engage with charity whilst at work. As the average lifespan increases, people will be spending more time working before they are able to retire. Many people have so much on in their personal life that they aren’t always able to give in their free time, so it is really important that employers make it possible for them to support good causes through their work.
Last week, a number of top businesses joined our panel of Parliamentarians to discuss the future of workplace giving. The evidence session, held in the Jubilee Room in the Palace of Westminster, featured representatives from household names such as Google, BT, The Prince’s Trust and Morrisons, all of whom were keen to come along to explain how they help encourage and facilitate their employees working with charities, as well as outlining to the panel the changes they would like to see to make it easier for employers and employees to give.
You can read a more detailed analysis of the session here.
Over the past few decades the way that people work in this country has changed, with the introduction of employee-friendly policies such as flexible working. The invention of technologies such as the Internet, laptops and smart phones means that people are able to work remotely and has changed people’s working habits. Just as businesses have developed to make it easier for people to do their jobs whilst fitting in with their busy lives, they need to also develop to make it easier for people to support charity through their work.
It’s possible that future generations will place greater emphasis on the charitable work that a company provides or supports when applying for a job. In fact, the inquiry has heard anecdotal evidence that graduates are now increasingly turning to a company’s CSR page on their website before deciding whether to put their name forward for a job. If that is the case, it suggests that companies will be forced promote and develop their charitable activity to ensure that they are able to recruit the next generation of employees.
One area that the evidence session discovered to be a major area of interest was the relationship between SMEs and charities. The majority of businesses in Britain are SMEs, and it is much harder to obtain information about their work with charity. This may be because many SMEs are unable to promote their charitable work in the same way as larger organisations, or because they struggle to account for it in an understandable manner, but it is an area that the inquiry is now looking to investigate in greater detail.
Since being launched there’s been a great deal of interest in the Parliamentary Inquiry on Growing Giving from charities, businesses, members of the public, the media and politicians – not least from the Prime Minister, who wrote to Rt Hon David Blunkett MP to praise the value of this work. It’s really important that people are able to have their say about how we can improve the opportunities to engage with charity, so take a look at the inquiry and share your experiences of workplace giving, and thoughts on how we can improve it so that it works for employers, employees and charities.