Kick-starting an initiative to highlight examples of Corporate Giving Programmes, Philanthropy Ireland organised a Networking Breakfast for businesses in the Citywest area, hosted by the DCU Ryan Academy. Local businesses heard presentations from two local based companies, SAP and Xilinx, on their programmes of giving and corporate philanthropy.

Presenting on behalf of SAP, Kiara Van Maela gave an overview of their ‘Community Involvement Forum’ , the focus of which is on ‘enhancing education for undeserved youth’. An integrated programme of activity the CIF has five key strands of activity, combining the utilisation of employee skills, organisational product knowledge and funding. Activity ranges from direct support for chosen charities to engagement with local educational projects, with employees involved in all key decisions. The programme is fully supported at all levels within the organisation.

Helena O’Malley, presenting on behalf of Xilinx, took us through the journey of how their giving programme developed from employee contributions in a small jar for the tea and coffee they were receiving free from the company, to the strategic programme they have in place today. Their programme focus is  ‘Education Ecosystem’. Their giving activity also spans time, money and skills with employees actively involved throughout. Helena also highlighted the return they get from their giving programmes saying the intangible benefits included a sense of meaning and purpose for employees, it is a morale booster, supports positive attitudes and develops commitment and loyalty.

Businesses present acknowledged the value of the presentations in triggering their own reflections on giving and how they could engage more strategically. They provided inspiration for business to actively engage with and pursue a programme of giving and philanthropy within their own organisations. And who would have guessed it could develop from contributions to a tea and coffee jar!

If you would like further details on the networking events, please e-mail niki@philanthropy.ie