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City Giving Day – Taking the initial step
The City of London is a global leader in financial and professional services, but not everyone knows that it also invests significant sums in communities and causes to change lives and make a wider positive impact on society. For companies, City Giving Day is an opportunity to showcase their charitable and community work, and let their staff and visitors know about the difference they are making and the lives they are changing.
Flexible workspace provider BE Offices have been involved with the day since 2018 and PR & Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Julie Tucker explains the important role City Giving Day has come to play within their company.
How long have you/company been involved with CGD?
“My first City Giving Day was in 2018. I came along to Guildhall Yard for the Lord Mayor's opening address and a photo shoot and was able to do a few social media posts to help promote the day, including one with the famous selfie frames. At the time we had only very recently heard about City Giving Day and hadn't had a chance to really immerse ourselves in it.
What initially made you want to take part?
"Knowing the altruistic nature of our organisation and our commitment to CSR, one of our business centre clients suggested that City Giving Day would be a good match for us. We hadn't heard about it before our client brought it to our attention and I'm so glad they did because it has sparked myriad opportunities for our business, not only to take part in the day itself and of course help raise funds for charitable causes, but in a much broader sense and on an ongoing basis. City Giving Day is obviously the focal point for the Lord Mayor's Appeal but there is so much more to it than just taking part on the day."
What do you feel the companies employees get from taking part?
"Most people have an innate desire to help others but sometimes they just don't have the opportunity to do so. City Giving Day has something to offer for everyone, it's so easy to get involved at whatever level suits the company or the individual. I think it’s wonderful to feel a part of something which is doing such tremendous good for so many incredible causes. Depending on the level of involvement also, there is the opportunity to meet new people, many of them hugely inspirational, as well as the learning opportunities throughout the year with programmes such as This Is Me. The more you engage the greater the opportunities."
Why do you think City Giving Day is so special?
“City Giving Day is special for so many reasons. It's special because of the people it is able to support and the enormously positive impact it makes on the lives of so many. It's special because of the people involved with making it all happen and the people who get involved on the day and throughout the year. It's special because for one day it unites in common cause people from so many different organisations. It's special because there are so very many ways to get involved and even a minimal level of involvement is a small act of kindness which can make the world of difference.”
Why should other companies sign up to take part?
“As mentioned before, City Giving Day is so much more than just the day itself. Obviously being part of CGD fulfils part of an organisation's CSR objectives but its reach is so much broader than one might imagine. Through City Giving Day I've developed further relationships such as that with the City of London's Culture Mile team for example, which we were able to support in 2021 with some free office space to provide a temporary hub for collaboration over the summer as part of the Lord Mayor’s Culture and Commerce Taskforce initiative. Through that relationship I've since been invited to co-chair the Culture Mile's Sustainable Environment Steering Group ahead of the Culture Mile bid to create a Business Improvement District in 2023. Through CGD I also learned of The Heart of the City, a City of London charity which supports SMEs with their responsible business practice. BE Offices has been an ambassador organisation for them now for a couple of years and most recently I was able to support them in the development of their Climate Action for SMEs course and resources.”
Do you have any advice for first timers taking part?
“If you are thinking of getting involved in City Giving Day, my advice would be don't feel you have to come in to this all guns blazing. Don't be daunted by the huge events that are being staged by big corporates who have the people and resources to make them happen. Find a way of getting involved which is right for you and your business. To begin with that might just be going red on the day and supporting the day on social media, perhaps supporting one of the organised events such as the treasure hunt or quiz. Attend a couple of engagement breakfasts to hear from others about what they are doing. There are so very many ways to get involved and it isn't just about raising money on the day. Taking the initial step to sign up is sowing a mixed bag of seeds from which can grow the most unexpected and beautiful garden of opportunities. Opportunities not only to do good for others but to develop in ways you might never have imagined, both as an individual and as a business.”
To find out more about City Giving Day you can join us at our launch breakfast on 8th March at Mansion House from 7:45am email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for your place