Corporate Social Responsibility – Are you doing the right thing?
Some 18 years ago, when we established Fusion from the ashes of a PLC conglomerate, we knew what we wanted to do business wise and how to go about doing it, but we paused (it was a hand-break stop if I am to be honest) and asked ourselves the question, what should we do that would make a difference and mark us out from every other SME out there? We wanted to put something back, something tangible, (talk is cheap, is so true). Now, some management consultant would label that up as the beginning of a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy. I’m not entirely sure if CSR was as prolific then as it is now, but in reality, we simply wanted to do the right thing. With that in mind, we came up with the idea of setting aside 1% of our profits for charitable events, with the added idea of making it Pre-tax profits. From this our idea was born and was immediately executed upon.
Now if you look at the wider business community, it’s a business policy followed by the great and the good, notably our friends at Salesforce and the wider ecosystem. Here at Fusion we don’t make an issue of it, we just do it and continue to do it to this day, because it’s the right thing to do.
Some of the charities and activities we have supported include everything from children’s charities’ events, hospitals, local schools, ex-military & service people, charitable runs, swims and bike rides, and so on. We do it almost exclusively for our employees and customers. It’s the best part of the day when I get an employee coming to see me with something along the lines of, “Hey……I’m thinking of doing this mad charity event” and the response is “Sure, we will match whatever the employee base does, and here’s a kick start to get the ball rolling.” Inevitably if somebody is short of target on the last day we will help out.
One great initiative that comes to mind is our fantastic sponsorship that started way back in 2014 with the Dublin University Hockey Club and Trinity Ladies Hockey Team. The club provides a unique hockey playing option to up and coming hockey players, catering for all skill levels, from absolute beginner right the way up to international level. I am proud to back this great club and a huge congrats to the ladies team for their recent promotion to the EY Hockey League for next season!
We currently have two great employees wanted to put something back to the community, and with help from us, we can help them achieve their goals. Keyvan Shirnia, is currently training hard by swimming in what looks like the coldest lake imaginable. Why you ask? He’s taking part in the Henley-on-Thames 14k swim marathon on the 6th August raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Daniel Swann has also started his weight loss challenge, raising money for Diabetes UK. He has given himself a deadline of the end of the year to lose 20kg which is roughly 3 stone! I wish both of them the best of luck in their adventures and look forward to sharing the outcomes!
I’d be interested to know how many other organisations do this type of “giving back 1%”. Now we all know that CSR is far more detailed and carries a far wider remit than simply giving back 1%, but it’s a damn good place to start from, it’s tangible, it’s fun and “it’s the right thing to do”.