United Way and Fuji Xerox Australia: the value of long-term partnership
United Way and Fuji Xerox Australia have worked together for almost 25 years – a landmark for both organisations.
In a time when partnerships typically last two or three years, it is important to recognise companies willing to take on long-term commitment and embrace uncertainty while working closely with not-for-profit organisations during the inevitable strategy and staff changes of two decades. The challenges facing communities today are too big for any single organisation to solve. There is no single “silver bullet” for community level change. Working in partnership, across sectors through long term partnerships is fundamental to helping United Way reach our community impact goals.
In the past three years alone, Fuji Xerox Australia has provided over $600,000 to support United Way’s cradle-to-career programs improving literacy, school retention and youth unemployment in disadvantaged Australian communities. As well as an annual partnership donation, fundraising efforts have included participation in United Way’s annual Gift of Reading campaign and payroll giving (which is 100% matched by the company). United Way also benefits from pro-bono design and print support.
We have worked together to leverage the passion, competencies, resources and skills of Fuji Xerox Australia’s people. Many are personally involved in a variety of volunteering activities including in early literacy programs, community events and high school mentoring activities, creating resources such as literacy booklets for parents, and designing communication pieces, including United Way’s volunteer e-newsletter.
Robbie Brown, Sustainability Manager at Fuji Xerox Australia said:
Our partnership goes way back. Over the years we have grown together, creating a better understanding of each other’s needs to enable greater community impact. Our objectives and commitment to the community are aligned and our employees really connect with United Way’s goal to help children reach their full potential.
It is a mutually beneficial partnership, with Fuji Xerox Australia receiving a positive return on their investment. Feedback indicates that 92% of volunteers believe the opportunity to take part in community volunteering has enhanced their willingness to contribute to their employer.
I tell my work peers how satisfying it is to be able to give back to the community, but it’s also great knowing that our company is encouraging us to do this. It’s amazing when you can put a smile on the kids’ faces and learn more about the community and what United Way does.
Fuji Xerox volunteer at a community reading event.
More than 500 Fuji Xerox Australia employees now give, advocate, and volunteer to support United Way. Teams of volunteers from all levels of the organisation support literacy events in language vulnerable communities and mentor high school students in their transition to work. The exchange is two way – last year, United Way employees also benefited from training by Fuji Xerox Australia employees on change management and business development.
United Way engages senior business leaders in an advisory capacity through state-based Councils that explore and develop innovative approaches to address long-standing community issues. A good example of this is the Macquarie Business Park Community Program pioneered by CEOs in the area who wanted to support the local community where they work. Clayton Noble, Fuji Xerox Australia’s Chief Operations Officer, continues to play a key role in the management of this project. He reflects:
United Way is one of our long lasting partners and a valued partner with whom we continue to explore how to have a deeper impact in the community.’ More than 100 local children and their families have registered to receive free monthly books as part of this initiative, and more than 200 high school students have received mentoring support since the program launched last year.
The partnership is a fabulous example of how a company can create lasting positive community impact in Australia, while improving business outcomes and employee engagement.