This month, we talked to our CEO Lisa Grinham about her own personal experiences with charitable giving, and how they impact her role as a business leader. There’s much to celebrate and some exciting changes on the way.
What does charitable giving mean to you, as an individual and as a business leader?
It may seem a simple statement, but I would fundamentally like the world to be a fairer place. Volunteering for Daystar Foundation in 2005, was life-changing for me. I met wonderful young people who, through no fault of their own, were not living in a fair and just world. It made me acutely aware of the importance of my education, and incredibly grateful for my own family support networks and background. It connected me with a community that relied on charitable giving to support the vulnerable and inspired me to engage more deeply and personally. Without doubt, Daystar Foundation changed my future career path, leading me (eventually!) to Good2Give.
In my role as CEO of Good2Give, I aim to inspire and support that mindset in my team, and with our clients. In fact, we’ve just hit a remarkable milestone at Good2Give – we’ve now facilitated over $275 million of charitable giving since 2001. That simply wouldn’t be possible without the truly inspirational organisations and leaders we work with. They consistently demonstrate that it’s possible to run a successful business, and at the same time give back to the communities and causes where they operate and their people work, and beyond.
Why do you think giving should be important to business leaders?
There’s a huge amount of research that demonstrates just how valuable a genuine commitment to social responsibility is for business. Our research shows that for some time, employees have acknowledged the value of their employer actively engaging in workplace giving. In our survey conducted over 5 years ago, 86% of respondents reported a sense of pride in their workplace for this reason alone. It’s a valuable asset for attracting and retaining staff. More recently, Deloittes 2021 research into the behavioural trends of Millennials and Gen Z’s, reported a strong focus on social change and accountability. Over 52% are making choices over the type of work they are prepared to do, or organisations they’d work for, based on their personal ethics. They’re looking for a demonstrable alignment, so there’s a real opportunity here for business leaders to provide a way for their employees to easily engage with charitable giving that makes a difference.
How do you think business leaders can inspire their employees to engage with giving?
I believe leaders must lead by example. The culture of any organisation is most impacted from how its leaders behave. Creating a culture of giving in your business doesn’t need to be that complex, it can start with just small actions. A workplace giving program is a simple action that can lead to strong community outcomes. For example, if 10% of a company with 5000 staff donate just $45 a month to charities through a workplace giving program, and the employer matches those donations, this would generate over $270,000 for charities every year. Without necessarily disclosing how much they donate personally; leaders can reference their continued giving as a means of inspiring others.
What do you think the future of giving looks like for businesses in Australia?
I’m so excited about the role that businesses will play in charitable giving in the future. I believe it will truly become a social license to operate. Perhaps more importantly, companies will really come to understand the powerful role they have to play in generating systemic change and creating better and stronger communities for us all.
Where do you find your inspiration in corporate charitable giving?
I’m so inspired when I see business leaders really engage with charitable giving. When a CEO publicly leads from the top and gets behind a program because they understand the importance of charitable giving, it’s incredibly powerful. I’m also inspired by our incredible team here at Good2Give, and the relationships they continue to build with corporate Australia to build and sustain a whole range of charitable giving services. They have made sure we’re well on the way to our goal of facilitating $300M in charitable giving by 2022 – we’re now at $275M – so close! We all find that target a huge inspiration, it’s a point of focus that motivates us every day.