Over 40 socially-minded Irish companies have formed more than 3,600 community partnerships and donated over €16.7 million in cash donations, in-kind donations and employee fundraising for local charities and community groups. Volunteer employees alone raised over €3.3 million. This information is being captured by Business in the Community Ireland on an online interactive map entitled the “Business Impact Map”, which gives a county-by-county breakdown of how much companies and employees supported their local community groups and charities in 2011.
National statistics show that over €11 million was given in cash donations, €2.3 million was contributed through in-kind donations and €3.3 million was raised through employee fundraising. Employees also volunteered over 130,000 hours to local groups and projects during the year. The statistics are from 43 of Ireland’s largest companies that are members of Business in the Community Ireland, the network for responsible business. The map can be viewed at www.bitc.ie.
Social issues that received the most support were health at €5 million, community projects at €3 million, education at €2.9 million, social inclusion at €2.3 million and homelessness at €760,000.
During 2011, KPMG in Ireland had 125 Community Connections and logged 5,598 volunteer hours, its employees fundraised €123,473, and the firm donated €589,400 in-kind and €299,261 in cash to charitable causes.
“Companies are in a strong position to have a major impact on social issues. One of the reasons for creating the map is for businesses to identify other companies that are working on similar social issues and to uncover possible areas for collaboration. So much strong work is being done by so many different companies, and Business in the Community Ireland actively encourages companies to work together on specific areas or issues so that they can have an even greater impact,” said Tina Roche, CEO of Business in the Community Ireland.
In the county-by-county breakdown, counties ranking the highest for employee fundraising outside of Dublin were Kildare (€329,000), Cork (€230,938), Waterford (€119,188) and Galway (€118,777). Kildare also ranked the highest for volunteer hours with over 21,000 hours in total followed by Meath and Cork, both with approximately 6,000 hours. Cash donations were highest in Dublin (€6.8 million), followed by Mayo at €1.1 million, Cork at €800,000 and Kildare at €350,000.
The map was launched at a special event in Grand Canal Dock where employees from 40 different companies came together to create Ireland’s first pop-up orchard. The orchard was designed by Make Hand Stands in partnership with Dublin Community Growers, and the trees, shrubs and plants will eventually find new homes in community gardens and groups that are part of the Dublin Community Growers network.