How to be a ‘Company of Good’

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre in Singapore on how best to use your brand to create a culture of giving

With Singapore currently observing Giving Week (28 November – 5 December), HRD chats with Quek Shi Yun, assistant director for corporate giving, at the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) on the best way companies can leverage their brand to create a culture of giving.

“Corporate giving does not always have to be done in an altruistic manner,” she said.

“Companies should also consider how by giving back to the community, they can also create synergies that would in turn bring benefits to various business aspects such as branding, employee engagement, and talent development.”

She said that companies looking to create a CSR programme but are unsure where to begin can take guidance from NVPC’s ‘Company of Good’ framework that consists of four key areas:

1)    Investment – How extensively and strategically a company gives
2)    Institutionalisation – How giving is supported by policies, systems, and incentives
3)    Integration – How giving is integrated with business functions and supports business interests
4)    Impact – How mechanisms have been put in place to measure impact

“The most developed and effective corporate giving programmes are ones that leverage on the competitive advantages of the business and harnesses existing assets and resources,” she said.

“Advanced corporate givers typically also collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to bring collective and maximisation of resources and impact,” she added.

What is HR’s role?
Quek said HR holds an integral role in the crafting of a CSR programme that “resonates with people in a company”.

“It is often a challenging role too as members of a company have different interests, intentions, skillsets, demographics, and sometimes languages that pose barriers to a one size fits all programme.”

If your goal is to get more employees to participate in giving programmes, she suggested holding a company-wide survey to determine which areas of interest in giving and volunteerism they are most concerned about. 

“By giving greater meaning to the work they do, employees feel a sense of satisfaction that keeps them going,” she said.

“This is especially significant at a time where millennials are making up a larger proportion of our workforce,” she added, citing a Deloitte study that found nine out of 10 millennials put a lot of stock in a company’s CSR programme.

“Employees, especially millennials, appreciate that in the course of their work, they are able to contribute back alongside their employers in helping the community.”


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