Pacific Equity Partners: Revive Long-Running WPG Program

From the judges, “A great outcome with a relatively small team.”

Pacific Equity Partners (PEP) increased staff giving more than 50% by adding more charities to its existing Workplace Giving program and improving staff communication.

The private equity firm conducted an anonymous survey of their 41 staff to assess why there was low engagement and giving in the program, which had been running since the company started in 1998. The results were then shared with all to encourage interest and involvement.

The survey revealed that adding more charities to the program would increase participation. The list of charities in the program had not been reviewed for many years and eight new charities were added to the list.

The survey also identified a lack of information on the charities being supported through Workplace Giving – many employees did not know who the charities were.  To address this, a page was set up on PEP’s Intranet, which provided a brief summary of each organisation supported, links to their websites, a library for charity newsletters and YouTube links to further content.

After reviewing other successful Workplace Giving programs, they decided to introduce an ‘opt-out’ approach for new recruits. This means that new employees are automatically included in the program, donating a nominal amount, but can withdraw at any time. This is done in tandem with comprehensive communications explaining how the program works and the tax benefits of donating directly from your pay to charity.

The entire Workplace Giving refresh process took about six weeks, during which staff were kept informed of progress to keep them engaged and interested.

The refresh led to a substantial increase in giving, with the participation rate growing from 27% in 2015 to 95% in 2016. The total number of charities supported under the program expanded by 80%.  Going forward, the plan is to provide regular updates to maintain engagement, with the ambitious aim to lift participation to 100%.