Most of us realise the importance of doing something that benefits the communities we live in. In the US, for example, the average person supports 4.5 charitable organisations and more than $143.6 billion is donated to charity each year.
At Sage we spend a lot of time investing and giving back to communities around the world. In the UK, Sage has a partnership with Cancer Research and has raised over £370,000 whilst in Africa, we support social entrepreneurship and enable economic change through education by providing experience and skills for employment.
As leaders, we all aspire to build successful, growing companies that deliver great value for all our stakeholders – we start by seeking to connect motivated employees to delighting customers. Additionally, we want to promote employees staying true to their moral compass and integrate their work environment with the causes about which employees feel passionate. Companies who pursue social philanthropy enjoy better employee satisfaction – a survey by non-profit organisation. Net Impact found that 53% of workers said that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to their well-being and happiness.
In the past, Corporate Social Responsibility is sometimes seen as a ‘box ticking’ exercise. But that is not enough for Sage. Our colleagues give back because we want to make a real difference to millions of people’s lives around the world. And making a difference in a meaningful and sustainable way takes a big commitment.
That’s why today we have launched the Sage Foundation to introduce the model of social philanthropy based on 2+2+2: combining 2% of employee time each year, 2% of free cash flow and 2 donated users for Sage’s smart technology for any registered charity, social enterprise or non-profit organisation. This model demonstrates Sage’s commitment to compassionate capitalism – we would encourage fellow FTSE 100 companies to follow. Each of Sage’s 14,000 employees will be able to contribute five days per year in work time to volunteer with any non-profit organisation they elect to support. The Sage Foundation will also give grants to create entrepreneurial opportunities for the young and disadvantaged within communities, as well as grants to match employee charitable donations and fundraising.
With tens of thousands of non-profit organisations as existing Sage customers, the Sage Foundation will enhance Sage’s relationship with charity and social enterprise. Non-profit organisations will be able to apply for donated Sage products through the newly created Donation programme. Sage’s ambition connects its customers, colleagues and communities within an integrated model and the Sage Foundation will be open for business globally from 1st October 2015.
As a global business, with thousands of employees, helping millions of small and medium businesses all over the world, we know we have a big opportunity to improve the lives of a massive number of people across the globe. Additionally, the Small & Medium Businesses who Sage serves are vital to rural and urban communities. We believe it’s our responsibility to make a real and lasting commitment to drive change.