26 September

City Giving Day has given us a chance each year to create something memorable

Each year City Giving Day celebrates the value of the City to society and how businesses can make a difference, as part of The Lord Mayor’s Appeal’s bid to create a fair society. The day always champions activities, whether corporate social responsibility, philanthropy or volunteering initiatives that support charities, society and the community. However large or small your company is there is an activity you can get involved in. 

Ahead of the day we spoke with Byron Spring, Pro Bono Managing Attorney at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP who have been involved in City Giving Day since 2015 and asked them about their involvement in the day and why they felt it was important for more companies in the City to get involved. 

“Cleary Gottlieb first took part in City Giving Day in 2015, when we hosted a launch event for a new pro bono partnership with Toynbee Hall’s women-only Free Legal Advice Clinic. The event was a great success, and our London office has sponsored and staffed a monthly free legal advice clinic at Toynbee Hall ever since.

We initially wanted to take part in the day as we felt it enabled us to be part of an event highlighting the importance of volunteering and philanthropy to the City as a whole, and to see our own volunteering opportunities at Cleary within this context. 

We do something different each year, from mock trials with local schools to fundraising events. City Giving Day has proven increasingly versatile, adapting well to remote and hybrid working, and has given us a chance each year to create something memorable. 

I think that by taking part in the day our employees get a sense of belonging—both to our firm’s community ethos and to a City in which so many support charities in their free time. City Giving Day never fails to spark interest in our pro bono practice from colleagues in London and beyond. 

One of my favourite moments from over the years has been running a mock trial for Year 6 students at a local primary school. We were impressed to see students present clear and structured arguments at such a young age—and, over the course of an afternoon, to help them perceive the skills they already have. 

City Giving Day really is a special day bringing together the individual community efforts of companies across the Square Mile into a shared narrative. It is a platform for celebrating everyone’s work and all events on the day, no matter how small, are part of that celebration.

We have found the day helps to engage employees across the office and to foster a culture of volunteering—and it is remarkably easy to take part. The Lord Mayor’s Appeal is on hand to support, and if you don’t want to arrange your own fundraiser there are various events arranged by the Appeal on September 27th in which all companies can participate. So it really is easy to take part in.”

So whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, City Giving Day is a chance to engage with your employees, recruit volunteers, raise funds for charity, showcase your charity partners and charitable giving, and most importantly, have some fun! 

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