Giving power to Collective Kindness

Giving power to Collective Kindness

CCI’s workplace giving program Collective Kindness was launched in early 2021 and has contributed over $45,000 between four charity partners. The recipients work directly with some of the most vulnerable people experiencing hardship in our community.

The Collective Kindness program incorporates payroll giving and staff fundraising, and links to CCI Giving through the Matched Grants Program where money raised through initiatives are matched dollar-for-dollar towards an annual target.

CCI staff feel great enthusiasm for the program, demonstrating support for the tireless work of charity partners. Ashleigh Buttle, one such CCI staff member, decided to join payroll giving as an easy way of supporting important causes without having to think about it. “Even with the best of intentions, I get caught up in life and I forget to donate or sign a petition I meant to. This way I know I have given back stress free, it’s a win - win.”

Since first payroll donations were processed in March, the organisation has achieved a participation rate that places them in the 2nd quartile of companies involved in the One Million Donors action. Applying benchmarking and other tools means CCI can assist more than 170 companies around the country with their own efforts to develop and implement workplace giving programs through opportunities for employees to donate from a pre-tax salary.

CCI Senior Payroll Officer, Rebekah Forbes, has watched the program grow. “The generosity of CCI staff has been building since the beginning of the year and I encourage other organisations to consider the idea of voluntary donation programs. While individual contributions may seem to have limited impact, the collective result is significant and deeply meaningful to many charities.”

The four program partner charities appreciate the benefits of this joint CCI and CCI Giving program for the donations and flexibility because they are not tethered to a specific program. As Philanthropy Australia highlights, this type of support reveals a ‘significant demonstration of trust – the trust in an organisation to deploy a grant for the best possible outcome, and the trust in a funder to not become enmeshed in the details, practicalities and nuances of grant implementation.’

Peggy Vlismas, Friends with Dignity’s National Grants Manager, agrees and explains that receiving untied funds from this program is extremely important to the work they do and allows them “to be agile and respond to the ever-uncertain times we are experiencing”. Friends with Dignity offers a range of programs to help families and individuals that have become displaced by domestic and family violence.

Just $10 enables the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF) to gift a book to a child and the partnership of CCI and CCI Giving has now supported the distribution of at least 1,000 books for remote communities in Australia. David Stewart, Relationship Manager at ILF says “as we look to expand this (and our other programs) the support will continue to be very important to us.”

Dalal Smiley, CEO at Wellsprings for Women agrees there is a positive impact through the program, especially during Covid restrictions when other fundraising events have been disrupted or cancelled. Through CCI, donations have been a major impetus for keeping some services going. Key programs ‘Enterprising Women’ and the ‘Women's Support Program’ are examples as both initiatives focus on migrant and refugee women experiencing challenges related to homelessness, unemployment, poverty, and family violence.

Dalal says additional difficulties over the last year were eased slightly knowing “we are not alone, and everyone is having to adjust. Being supported by CCI is very encouraging and keeps us motivated to keep going regardless of how many times we have to stop and start.”

Payroll donations are approaching the $6,000 mark and fundraising efforts have seen $4,000 go to charity partners. To launch the program and encourage donations, CCI Giving directors agreed to double-match all donations until the end of June 2021, to provide a further boost for program partners. In recognition of the pressure for all charities during the pandemic, CCI Giving directors agreed to a further discretionary payment of $5,000 each charity during 2021 and that was distributed before the end of the 2021 financial year.

Lauren Clair is CCI Giving Foundation Program Manager and is delighted by the impact of the collaboration.

“I am thrilled that CCI staff are fully in support of the work of the four charities and their causes, with many choosing to contribute something from their own salary. This is particularly heartening in difficult times when many people are facing challenges during the pandemic and its restrictions on daily life and work.”

In November 2021, CCI's Collective Kindness Program was awarded Silver in the 2021 Workplace Giving Excellence Awards, in the category of Best Launch / Refresh (Employer). 

Workplace Giving Australia celebrates the generosity of working Australians through these Awards. In a year of unprecedented challenges, we are very proud of CCI employees’ contribution towards one million Australians donating to charities through workplace giving.