By Bethany Cox, Marketing Manager, CAF
Established in 1973, Zurich Community Trust is a pioneering corporate foundation and this year is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Pam Webb, Head of Zurich Community Trust Team, shared some pearls of wisdoms on creating a sustainable foundation at one of our events.
Align with the business
The secret of the Zurich Community Trust is that although it is a registered charity and not directly aligned with the business, it is embedded within the culture. The success of engaging employees with the foundation has been because of its separation from the business. Employees are able to give to the foundation through payroll giving, a staff lottery and fundraising. Evidence that the foundation is embedded in the hearts of employees come from statistics which show that even through the recession, employee donations to the foundation have increased from £77 per head in 2009 to £80 per head in 2012.
Develop long-term, sustainable partnerships
Zurich Community Trust only forms partnerships for a minimum of three years and most last for five years or more. In fact, its programme in India has been running for an incredible 18 years. Pam stated that in her opinion the ‘charity of the year’ approach adopted by some companies is not sustainable because it takes longer than a year to get a partnership working to full effect.
Use the skills of your employees
In addition to brokering volunteering opportunities for Zurich employees, the Trust has taken the more innovative approach of using employee volunteers as grant assessors and working with the Zurich Learning and Development department to use the skills of the graduates on its training scheme to create videos and webinars on topics such as project management to help charities.
Embed into the company culture
The activities of the Trust have no relation to insurance, but still adds sustainable business benefit and value to Zurich. By embedding the Trust into the culture of the business it creates a sense of pride amongst employees which although immeasurable, does have, Pam believes, a positive impact on productivity.
60% of employee volunteers claimed volunteering raised their sense of job satisfaction and 48% had more pride in Zurich as an employer.
“I feel very proud to work for Zurich because of the charity work that is carried out in and outside of the local community. Because of the opportunities that I have had from working for Zurich I believe that I am much more involved in charity/community work than I perhaps would have been otherwise and this is certainly one of the reason why I have no intention to leave Zurich!”
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Find out more about how CAF can help your business develop its CSR programme on our website.