Craigs Investment Partners has launched a new nationwide workplace community 'giving programme' and Sandra Conchie reveals the details of how it all works and the benefits.
Client Christmas gifts are out the window in favour of charitable donations and staff can funnel cash to causes directly from their paychecks.
That's how one Tauranga-based investment company is switching up corporate Christmas giving - and one beneficiary hopes other corporates will soon follow suit.
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Craigs Investment Partners today launched a nationwide community giving partnership programme with the Acorn Foundation and the Community Foundations of NZ.
Acorn Foundation is part of the Community Foundations of NZ network which works with generous locals to set up endowment funds to support causes dear to their hearts.
The launch coincides with international Giving Tuesday which celebrates generosity across the globe.
Oliver Pomfrett, Craigs' head of people and performance, said there were three arms to the company's new community funding initiative.
Firstly, Christmas Giving which will see Craigs direct money to local charities in lieu of sending out Christmas gifts to its clients across the country.
Pomfrett said over the past few years, several of the company's 19 branches initiated the idea which was well received by clients and suppliers.
This included Craigs Investments Partners Tauranga making a $7500 Christmas donation to Acorn used to support the set-up of Awhina House.
"This Christmas we will be donating $150,000 and a Giving Committee in each branch will liaise with their local community foundation to choose a deserving recipient," he said.
Pomfrett said the second part will be the launch of Craigs' Workplace Giving in January with the 530 staff across the country encouraged to make donations through their payroll.
"Staff contributions up to $500 year per person will be matched by the business," he said.
"Staff can nominate an amount to contribute each month, and the tax rebate is applied from their payroll so staff don't need to keep receipts or apply for tax refunds each year."
A Workplace Giving committee of staff established in each branch will also liaise with their local foundation counterparts to choose a meaningful recipient for these funds.
Pomfrett said the Acorn Foundation had made setting up the process "seamless".
The third arm of the community giving initiative will see the establishment of Craigs Community Fund over the next three to five years, he said.
"The capital in the Craigs Community Fund will be invested in perpetuity, with a portion of the investment income distributed annually to recipients of our choice," he said.
Craigs managing director Frank Aldridge said the company had contributed significant funds to numerous local organisations and events over the years.
"We see huge benefits to our communities by giving to those with the greatest need at a time of year that we know many feel huge pressure financially," Aldridge said.
"It's so important to us as individuals and as a business to support the communities we live and work in," he said.
Aldridge said partnering with the Acorn Foundation and the other community foundations spread across the country to channel these funds "made sense".
"Craigs Community Fund will further cement our commitment for the long term," he said.
Aldridge said the funding initiative would also allow Craigs to respond to the needs of each of the local communities at key times.
Acorn Foundation's general manager Lori Luke said she hoped other corporates would soon follow suit.
Luke said Workplace Giving was one of the arms of Acorn Foundation's giving platform,
and Craigs continued to be "very generous" sponsor and had been over many years.
"People can donate as much or as little as they can manage but every dollar helps make a real difference in someone else's life, and the donations are tax-deductible," she said.
"There is something powerful about collective giving and this a personal way for people to make a bigger impact on the lives of those of greatest need in their community."