EASING THE BURDEN OF CORPORATE GIVING

Companies have huge potential to do social good and are increasingly seen as key to tackling some of society’s greatest challenges. However, last year, for the first time since 2011, the Charities Aid Foundation saw levels of giving by companies listed in the FTSE 100, decrease in real terms. Whilst disappointing, the current market conditions can, in part, explain this drop in charitable contributions from several key industry sectors. However, those market conditions don’t explain the full story.

In an attempt to deliver on their charitable fund raising commitments, many companies are reliant on a small number of willing individuals who are prepared to raise sponsorship for example: by completing a parachute jump, or by cycling from London to Paris. However, each year there is an ever-increasing number of charitable challenges emerging which vie for the attention of those committed individuals. That problem is exacerbated by the fact that the size of the pool of potential sponsors doesn’t increase accordingly. Consequently, it is the same people; family, friends or work colleagues who are repeatedly asked for sponsorship money.

Wouldn’t it be great if companies were able to shift their dependence away from the small band of proactive challenge junkies and the generous individuals who support their endeavours? To achieve that companies need to get many more willing individuals involved in the task of fund raising, and to achieve that Quest suggests “kick-starting” participation by providing incentives.  In other words, offering employees a reward for getting involved.

It was with this objective that Quest developed the multifaceted TeamWalk Challenge concept.  For the last 10 years we have predominately delivered this event for our clients from one of four Center Parcs venues around the country. Companies that have adopted the TeamWalk Challenge concept have provided a corporate weekend away for their employees at a Center Parcs venue and in return the participants have paid a small fee ranging typically between £30 and £65, for the privilege of taking part in the TeamWalk Challenge. All of that fee is donated to a nominated charity. As the name suggests TeamWalk Challenges are team events and they have to-date individually attracted up to 900 employees. With such numbers, a company can easily raise up to £60,000 without the need of burdening people with the onerous task of raising sponsorship money. In return the participants get a free weekend at Center Parcs and when not undertaking the challenge itself, (typically between three and six hours duration), they are free to enjoy the excellent facilities the venue has to offer. Through the delivery of these events Quest has helped its clients raise millions of pounds for good causes.

However, the beauty of the TeamWalk Challenge is that it is much more than simply a vehicle for raising significant sums of money for the charity. It also provides a superb internal networking opportunity, which is of particular benefit to organisations operating from multiple geographic sites and certainly helps improve communication across the organization.

This has become a much anticipated and enjoyed annual event, which helps to not only strengthen the individual team relationships, but has again also helped interdepartmental knowledge and awareness.’

‘ I am based in Manchester and teamed up with some colleagues from London which in itself was a great experience, getting to know colleagues who you've worked with on a personal level’

‘I have been to all three of these events and they are superb events which raise a lot of money for charity and give people the chance to meet people from other offices that they deal with, putting faces to names, which greatly improves working relationships’

Due to the geographic spread of the possible venues, a series of regional events could be delivered, which ultimately would mean that many more employees would be able to take part and benefit from the process.

A Team Walk Challenge event, also supports many aspects of employee engagement and provides an opportunity to recognize and celebrate success. The beauty of the event is that it is designed to be fully inclusive and therefore attracts employees of all levels of fitness, not just the adrenaline junkies within an organization. It also acts as a catalyst to encourage people to get a little fitter in the run up to the event and this objective can be further supported by pre-event Fitbit step challenges

‘Believe me it provides something for all levels of fitness. It is by no means just for the physically fit. If I can participate and thoroughly enjoy it, then anyone can. Anyhow, it is good to have the motivation to get a bit fitter!’

A Team Walk Challenge can achieve many corporate objectives simultaneously (Fund raising, networking, improved internal communication, employee reward, celebrating success, employee well-being and personal development). It provides measurable benefits to the business and therefore ensures an excellent return on investment in any company’s key asset, its employees.

To learn more about the Team Walk Challenge and the other events and programmes Quest offers to help its clients support charities, and other CSR objectives contact one of our team on 020 394 0123

My dearest thanks to Richard and the Quest team for one more spotless professional delivery’

‘What I particularly appreciated was the Quest team's demonstrable knowledge of their field, their responsiveness to our queries and requests, collegial approach and professionalism throughout’.

 

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