Origin Energy Foundation: Leadership support and creative execution


The application has incredible depth and demonstrates a mature and authentic culture of giving connected to Origin’s purpose.”


  • Over $183,000 donated during the crisis
  • Despite the COVID crisis, Origin maintained staff participation in both payroll giving and volunteering. In fact, donations by Origin employees increased 9% from the previous year
  • With company matching, $930,212 was donated in FY19/20, $100,000 more than in the previous year
  • Despite work from home restrictions, an innovative employer-charity partnership with SolarBuddy provided Origin’s capable and purpose-driven employees an outlet to offer meaningful support. 300 ‘Origin families’ built 1,500 SolarBuddy lights for children living in energy
  • Throughout the crisis, Origin volunteers made daily calls to people living in social isolation


  • It quickly became evident that the COVID crisis would hit Origin’s community partners hard. They were concerned that regular workplace giving donations would decrease, so the Origin Energy Foundation quickly reassured employees that they would continue to match their
    donations. Contrary to expectations, donations were significantly higher than for the same period last year and the number of employees donating via payroll increased by 46% year on year.
  • Cancellation of face-to-face volunteering in mid- March had an immediate impact. The need for services delivered by their community partners increased, but corporate volunteering support was no longer available as ‘work from home’ was implemented. The immediate
    priority was to come up with creative and innovative ways for Origin team members to support. Two highly innovative volunteering programs were developed.
  • 300 ‘Origin families’ participated in the SolarBuddy Family Pack program and assembled 1,500 individual SolarBuddy lights to be sent to children living in energy poverty enabling them to read and study after dark. The CEO of SolarBuddy said that the support of Origin Energy Foundation was ‘literally oxygen’. Solar Buddy delivered an online ‘thank you’ session for Origin families, giving them the opportunity to see how and where the
    solar lights will be delivered. As a result of external media coverage, SolarBuddy received enquiries from other corporates and over 50 orders from individual families.
  • In addition, around 100 Origin volunteers actively participated in the Australian Red Cross’ COVID CONNECT program. Team members from across the country made thousands of calls to socially isolated Australians. The appreciation has been overwhelming, with one client saying that the Red Cross calls had ‘saved her sanity’.
  • Throughout the pandemic, Origin’s employees have enthusiastically embraced opportunities to get involved and continue to donate their time and money to the community.