Workplace giving charity
Workplace Giving Strikes A Chord With National Charity

Image Credit: Pro Bono News
Written by Wendy Williams | Published by Pro Bono News

National not-for-profit organisation The Song Room, which brings music and art programs to some of Australia’s most disadvantaged children, was recognised for their partnership with JB Hi-Fi.

Caroline Aebersold, CEO of The Song Room, told Pro Bono News the value of the partnership was “enormous”.

“Corporate support and philanthropic and private donors still make up the majority of the support we receive to enable us to reach children in need,” Aebersold said.

“Obviously having a partnership that we’ve had as long as we’ve had with JB Hi-Fi, that’s of such a significant level of support but also has such great synergy in other ways, the value for an organisation like us for that kind of partnership is enormous.

“And particularly I think workplace giving income because it is a continuous flow of income and you know flexible funds that allow us to really target it to the highest need communities across Australia is also really valuable.”

Aebersold said there were some “obvious synergies” between JB Hi-Fi and their organisation, including “the music connection”, but that was only part of what made the partnership successful.

“JB Hi-Fi does an enormous amount beyond just music. And so do we, the kind of work we do, the communities we work, we work in different art forms and different types of programs as well,” she said.

“So you know the music connection is a good basis. But actually, I think what it is that makes the partnership with them so successful is that there’s this great alignment of culture and values.

“One of the things that I think is really inspirational about JB Hi-Fi is the culture that they have all the way from the very top with the CEO and right through the organisation down to every store.

“They have this kind of can-do, fun, innovative way of engaging in culture, across their team. It’s very much aligned with our culture but it also means they’re able to really throw themselves at their partnership and opportunities to work together in kind of creative and innovative ways that just mean you can do so much more with finding opportunities that are hopefully mutually beneficial.”

Aebersold said innovation was a crucial part of what made JB Hi-Fi’s workplace giving program so successful.

“The core of their workplace giving program…  is amazing,” she said.

“Particularly for a retailer where I think the initial expectations in workplace giving about what kinds of companies would be most successful in growing workplace giving would probably not expect that retail organisations with a lot of their employment base being younger and casual staff, would have such a huge take up and they got over 80 percent of their employees giving to workplace giving.

“So at their end, I think it’s worth acknowledging that they’ve been really innovative in how they’ve been able to grow that and certainly, the way we engage with them in sharing the impact and success of that is really important.”

The gold award winners were:

  • Best Overall Program: JB Hi-Fi
  • Most Innovative Charity/Employer Partnership: Joint winners – Redkite in partnership with JB Hi-Fi and The Song Room in partnership with JB Hi-Fi
  • Best Launch or Refresh (Large Employer): The Good Guys
  • Best Launch or Refresh (Small Employer): The Myer Family
  • Best Public Sector Program: South Western Sydney Local Health District

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