How ITRS Group London chose a charity to support for CSR and what we have done since.
We are fortunate to be a successful global software company in our 23rd year, operating from offices in 9 countries across APAC, EMEA and NA. Much of our success is of course due to having a happy and engaged workforce, which we spend a lot of time and effort on. One avenue for this is our People and Culture forum, whose remit is to sustain and develop our culture to create a great place to work.
Many of the offices have used this forum, backed by our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy, to organise teams and indeed whole offices to contribute and volunteer for a variety of fund raising, awareness and engagement projects which give back to the communities that house and sustain our business.
Selecting a charity
The London based representatives of the People & Culture forum wanted to select a single charity which we would focus our support on. Each of us nominated a different charity and prepared a short case for consideration. There were no criteria for the initial selection of charities except that people were passionate about championing the cause.
After some rigorous debate, we decided that we would discount national charities as they are generally well known and have a significant amount of support and awareness already. In addition, ITRS could have a much greater impact on a smaller local charity.
What did we want?
We wanted to ensure the charity would be able to benefit beyond ITRS simply providing financial help to ensure their continuity. We wanted to be able to engage our employees to support something worthwhile and inspirational. We wanted a charity that would partner with us, encourage us in ways we hadn’t thought possible, and wisely use any funds we could generate.
Most importantly, we wanted a charity that we could see would derive huge benefits from the opportunity our employees, expertise and location in the City of London would provide.
Enter Drive Forward Foundation
Who did we choose?
Drive Forward Foundation’s mission is to provide personal support that allows young adults from a care background to aspire and succeed professionally, and achieve the self-worth and purpose attached to being in meaningful employment.
They are based in Waterloo, a few miles away from the ITRS London office, but they support care leavers from around London.
They were glad to engage with ITRS and fulfilled all our criteria.
- Local and small with only 11 team members at the initial partnership stage
- We could:
- Offer work experience, work placements and internships across software engineering, support, HR, legal, finance and sales
- Conduct fund raising
- Provide volunteers that were able to participate in the Drive Forward Foundation initiatives such as mentoring, interview practice, lunch club, and providing placements support.
- Their annual accounts show that they do not carry a large surplus of funds but utilise them.
What has happened since we started
- Provided two work placements for young people in finance and in the technical communications department
- Offered interviews for client services and legal teams
- Provided cv advice to several placement seekers
- Attended three partnership breakfasts to learn more about the effects of childhood trauma, the impact of care and unconscious bias.
- Had a lunch and learn presentation to the office given by a young person which provided an informative (and humorous) insight into a life in and post care,
- Two people who have started the mentoring programme training.
- Organised a team to do the Halloween 5K/10K run at the Queen Elizabeth Park https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=ITRSforDriveForwardFoundation&isTeam=true
We have had an exciting start to the partnership and are looking forward to its successful continuation.
If you would like any more information on the ITRS / Drive Forward Partnership or our CSR program, please contact Chun Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org).