Building bonds through employee volunteering

Claire Burton Deloitte 2Fundraising is an important part of any corporate charity partnership, but a truly responsible business will go beyond simply giving money to charity. At Deloitte, our responsible business strategy aims to make a real impact to our local communities, while offering exciting opportunities for our people to learn new skills in new environments.

In fact, our responsible business programme is a key factor in helping us attract, develop and retain the best talent. Allowing our employees the flexibility to develop their skills and interests outside of their work for the firm helps us to link the firm’s business success with wider social progress. It enables us to connect with our local communities, increasing employee engagement while benefiting society as a whole.

All of our people are encouraged to take time out of their day to day roles to volunteer or support one of our society partners. One of our financial advisory partners, Matt Smith, was recently named Outstanding Employee at the Business Charity Awards.

Matt was inspired to take on a variety of volunteering and fundraising roles offered by the firm after taking part in the Deloitte Kilimanjaro challenge in 2010, helping to raise over £470,000.

“Matt took part in the Deloitte Kilimanjaro challenge and raised over £470,000…and has raised over £1.5 million over 8 years”

Over the last eight years, he has led in over £1.5m worth of fundraising, encouraged over 800 of his colleagues across the firm to take part in volunteering and personally undertaken a series of physical challenges.

Matt is responsible for working with Maria Fidelis School as part of the Deloitte Access programme. The partnership has enabled over 244 staff from Deloitte’s FA practice to volunteer, connecting with over 594 students. As well as leading the team of volunteers, Matt personally mentors a young person at the school.

In 2013, Matt came up with the idea of running another, larger fundraising challenge. Over 18 months, Matt brought together 14 volunteers to create the Deloitte Charity Challenge 2015. This saw 239 of our staff undertake four challenges across four continents to raise over £1 million for our national charity partners, Alzheimer’s Society, Mind and Prostate Cancer UK. The challenges included summiting Kilimanjaro, completing a tri-x in Borneo, climbing Mulhacén in mainland Spain and scaling one of the world’s tallest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi in Ecuador.

“239 staff did four challenges across 4 continents to raise over £1 million for charity partners”

As well as project managing the event, Matt took part in two of the trips himself.

Matt said “I’ve learnt a lot from volunteering with our various society partners over the years. Two of our national charity partners have a personal significance for me and I have seen some truly inspiring work done by our own people to support their causes.

Volunteering is something that is accessible to everyone, regardless of seniority or which area of the business you work in. Sharing in colleague’s achievements outside of the workplace has helped me to build incredibly close bonds with the people I work with every day, as well as those I had never even met beforehand. In a large company like Deloitte, these experiences are an important part of engaging with colleagues and society alike.”

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