The Harlands Group have offered fantastic support to Kangaroos since choosing us their charity of the year early in 2019. They’ve generously sponsored some of our events and held a number of their own fundraising activities, plus around 80 Harlands employees have signed up to payroll giving.
We recently caught up with Sue Coughlan, Harlands’ Office and Administration Manager, to find out more about how the relationship with Kangaroos is developing. Here’s what came out of our Q&A:
Why did Harlands decide to support Kangaroos?
“For the past three years we have sponsored a different charity each year. Charities are nominated by staff and a shortlist gets drawn up. One of our prerequisites is that it’s a local charity as we feel it’s important we give something back to our local community.
“The final three on our shortlist are presented by the individual nominees to our team that oversee staff benefits. Last year, one of our staff members, who has a disabled daughter benefitting hugely from Kangaroos services put forward a passionate plea for fundraising help and we were on board from the word go.
“Having now seen firsthand the work that Kangaroos do, I am seriously impressed and I’m so glad that we chose to work with this charity.”
What are the challenges in your business in engaging staff members with fundraising activities?
“Many of our staff members are very engaged with the idea of supporting a local charity and consider Harlands a better company to work for because of it. Having said that, it is difficult to encourage people to fill out payroll giving forms – even though it is only £5 a month.
“I think that will get easier when staff can see the longer term commitment that Harlands as a company has to employee engagement and making a difference in the local community. Engaging with the younger generation in the workplace is definitely something we need to work on.”
What kind of fundraising activities have staff members been involved in?
“We’ve had a cake sale, a Halloween bake off, and a hot chocolate station, where one staff member provided marshmallows, syrups and other hot chocolate accompaniments for a donation. And of course many of our staff have signed up to payroll giving too.
“We ‘raffled a room’ at the East Sussex National, the week before our Christmas Party there, so one lucky person was able to stay over! All proceeds from the raffle went to Kangaroos.
“We were headline sponsor for Kangaroos’ annual golf event, plus we entered a team and some of our staff volunteered as helpers on the day. We also took 10 members of our team to the Kangaroos’ Silver Ball.
“We are holding a charity fun day in June, a bit like a fete, to celebrate our year’s partnership with Kangaroos and will announce the total we have raised. We’ll be inviting the families who use Kangaroos and the Kangaroos team to come and join us.”
What have you as a business gained from partnering with Kangaroos?
“Our biggest challenge is recruiting and retaining staff. Unemployment is at an all-time low and in this environment it can be hard to find the right people. The fact that we support a local charity is attractive to potential recruits and improves engagement and retention with existing staff too.
“We were delighted to get some local radio coverage through Kangaroos, which highlights our commitment to supporting a charity in the local community. People are getting increasingly discerning over the companies they work for, so having a commitment to corporate social responsibility is essential.”
If you would like to share your business’s experience of supporting Kangaroos, get in touch. We’d love to feature you in a blog and in our business newsletter.