BDO: Staff Drive WPG to New Heights

From the judges, “This program has done very well for a first year operation!”

Accounting and advisory service organisation, BDO, gave their Workplace Giving strategy a boost by enabling staff to drive the program’s direction.

They had informally launched a WPG program in June 2015 that built on the relationship with the company’s existing charity partner, the QUT Learning Potential Fund. Staff were given the option to donate a one-off payment or ongoing fortnightly donations. This approach complimented an existing culture of staff giving by adding some structure and the added ability to donate via payroll.

The following year the program was reinvigorated by expanding the number of beneficiaries, with staff input central to the selection process. This led to the addition of AEIOU Foundation, Black Dog Institute, and Micah Projects in continuance with the QUT Learning Potential Fund. A WPG Steering Committee was created to guide the program, with representation from all areas of the firm across a variety of staff levels. A formal strategy document was also created with a focus on key milestones, performance indicators and maximising the relationship with the chosen charities through volunteering opportunities and donating skilled time, as well as the financial donations.

BDO increased participation by communicating with staff via email, social media, intranet, posters, staff meetings, staff presentations and even personalised hand delivered letters. Charities are invited to present at ‘lunch and learn sessions’ and free dress days are held to further increase awareness of the program.

An internal BGenerous Annual Award was created to recognise an individual and/or team for their WPG and charitable activities, with the prize money donated to a charity of the winner’s choice.

The refresh resulted in a significant increase in staff giving. Participation jumped from 3% to 9% immediately after the three new charities were added, and has since climbed to over 10%. Staff engagement also increased from 58% in October 2014 to 70% in April 2016, with staff feedback crediting the WPG program as a positive part of the company culture.