HomeBlogHow Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average

How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average

How Macquarie Telecom raised payroll giving to 10 times the national average

Macquarie Telecom is one of United Way Australia’s longest supporters. In 2015, we celebrate the 20th year of our partnership – a wonderful achievement in a time when charitable partnerships often only last a year or two. Over the past 20 years, we have mobilised employees to volunteer, raised almost $500,000 through appeals and payroll giving, organised book drives and Christmas gift donations, and created champions and advocates to support our work.MacquarieTelecom

“At Macquarie Telecom we fully appreciate our role as a corporate partner of United Way. This partnership allows our staff an outlet for workplace giving which contributes to the lives of many people less fortunate than us,” Craig Lowe (General Manager, Customer Operations at Macquarie Telecom) explains.

As well as recognising the longevity of our partnership, another cause for celebration is the number of employees at Macquarie Telecom who support United Way through payroll giving.

Across the board, there has been a relatively slow take up of workplace giving within Australia. Although difficult to find a consensus, reports often suggest that between 1% and 4.5% of Australian employees participate in payroll giving. Yet, staff at Macquarie are bucking this trend.

Of the 400 people who work at Macquarie Telecom, approximately 130 make an ongoing donation through payroll giving – about 33% of employees – which provides United Way with almost $30,000 every year for its early intervention projects in disadvantaged Pre weddingcommunities throughout Australia.

In addition to the ongoing donations which allow United Way to effectively plan its program delivery, in the last 12 months alone, staff at Macquarie donated $12,000 to the Gift of Reading Appeal (doubling last year’s efforts). They also took part in two children’s book drives, providing hundreds of quality used books to the western Sydney community campaign, Paint Parra Read.

Mr Lowe, who leads Macquarie Telecom’s Community and Workplace Giving Programs reflects that: “I have always felt the need to give back to community. I think the best way to judge an organisation is by what they do for their staff, customers and the wider community. At Macquarie I think we have the balance right.”

Craig’s top 3 tips on increasing workplace giving within a business – large or small:

  • Get your CEO involved: David Tudehope, CEO of Macquarie Telecom, is hugely supportive of the work we do with United Way. Not only does he personally volunteer on a place-based CEO Steering Group at Macquarie Park, but he often agrees to match company donations, which helps drive momentum. We also ask senior leaders to donate larger sums during online appeals, which helps set the bar for other staff.
  • Start at induction: I start with new employees. As part of their induction, I brief them about the organisation’s long history of giving and the power of the ongoing donation. Most are open to the idea, but this year I will be looking at the possibility of introducing ‘opt out’ to improve participation rates and encourage reluctant givers to give it a go.
  • Get the messaging right: As many times as possible throughout the year, we provide updates on the Community Program in the monthly all staff meeting. We invite United Way to come along to speak and make sure that any additional activities we do – volunteering, book drives, etc – are all aligned to the same focus area. This helps to ensure we are getting the message through. The key thing is to keep the message simple.

What’s next for the Macquarie Telecom – United Way Australia partnership?

* Continue to grow the workplace giving program with a target of 50% participation by the end of 2015, through new initiatives such as the introduction of ‘opt out’ payroll giving for new employees and encouraging ongoing donations from those who supported the Gift of Reading Appeal.

* Continue to engage staff and networks to support the Macquarie Business Park Community Partnership, working with a collaboration of businesses and community partners to support local children and young people through early literacy, employability skills and connections.

About Macquarie Telecom

Founded in 1992, Macquarie Telecom provides combined hosting, cloud and telecommunications solutions to Australian business and Federal Government customers. With a focus on exceptional customer experience, Macquarie Telecom enables organisations to make faster decisions, and to become more collaborative, resilient, secure and ready for the cloud. Macquarie employs approximately 400 people in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and Canberra.


Find out more about partnering with United Way Australia

Contact Dr Lyndsey McKee, Head of Partnerships on 02 9321 0305 or  lyndsey.mckee@unitedway.com.au



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