- Date published: 01 Nov 2019 by James Barber
We spoke with Rachel Hall at St. James Group about their experience as a Corporate partner with Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity.
How has partnering with Rainbow Trust helped St James fulfil its CSR objectives?
Partnering with Rainbow Trust has helped us to fulfil the values and the mission of the Berkeley Foundation – the charity arm of our organisation. With this in place, each operating company within the Berkeley Group has a designated local charity that they support.
“Our partnership with Rainbow Trust started five years ago when we had our office in Leatherhead. Berkeley had the vision to build community and help the local places where we build, so partnering with the Rainbow Trust has helped us to fulfil that vision.”
How do you feel the charity resonates with the employees and how do the employees get behind the cause?
It’s a great cause. We constantly keep our employees engaged with the charity which involves updating them on the work that the charity is doing with different families across the UK.
We also have monthly office fundraising activities. We have annual activities such as our quiz night and go-karting day. Not only that, Rainbow Trust is very hands-on themselves which is great.
They regularly send out emails encouraging people to get involved in sports challenges. We also promote Rainbow Trust a lot, which keeps people constantly engaged and makes them want to be a part of it as well.
One of the things we did was to get all of our Directors in our division to sign a pledge that they were going to leave certain sites ensuring that they are doing some fundraising. This brought in a lot of competition between the sites and made things a bit more exciting when it comes to fundraising.
I believe that all these things help to keep them engaged.
Of all the fundraising activities undertaken to date by St James for Rainbow Trust, what were the highlights for you?
Probably our annual quiz. This is something we organise at St James. It’s been going on for about four years now. It’s just always a good social event and we always get loads of participants.
At least half of our staff attend and it’s something that we can invite our subcontractors to. Through our social events, we can do some extra fundraising activity such as a raffle, a giveaway, or an auction to encourage staff to raise more. Everybody always looks forward to it.
Another event that we participated in was the Firewalk that Rainbow Trust organised. Out of all the corporate companies we had the most attendees. It was just something different and was good for a lot of people who don’t get involved in sports challenges who saw this as something they were able to do.
Payroll giving has been a huge success for St James, why do you think that is?
As a company, we encourage and promote our ‘Give as You Earn’ scheme. We don’t pressure staff to do it, but we always let them know the benefits. We inform them that their contribution can be small and that only Payroll will know how much they give.
We also promote ‘Give as You Earn’ from when people first start to work for us, and we tell them all about the benefits.
Berkeley Foundation also matches ‘Give as You Earn’, so I think that’s a real selling point to a lot of staff because they know that the Rainbow Trust will get more for their money.
We talk about it in our quarterly MD meetings. The whole division attends quarterly briefings including our Managing Director.
We’ve had staff from the Rainbow Trust attend these briefings just to thank the staff for all the work they’ve done, to describe the work that they do and to remind everyone where their money goes to from the fundraising.
What would you say to another company/organisation looking to partner with Rainbow Trust?
Rainbow Trust is a great charity to support, they do amazing work. Not only that, they are just very engaged, they are consistently in contact, and you always feel like you are doing something to help the charity.
“They have a great team of staff who organise regular events. They also help you to plan all your company events, which relieves the pressure from the company to know that Rainbow Trust can actually set up a whole year calendar of fundraising events.”
They also keep us updated with the work they are doing through emails, thank you cards, newsletters and magazines.
I believe that because it’s not a huge charity, it’s much easier to build a relationship - with staff at the charity, corporate partnership management, I feel like we’ve really got to know them over the years. So it’s like we know the charity, we know what they’re doing and that’s why I would encourage other companies to partner with Rainbow Trust.
Thinking of partnering with us? See how your company can help.