Why Would You Give Away A Day’s Pay?

“Charity begins at home”

A reasonably common saying in this country. I heard it a lot in my five years fundraising.

A lot.

It’s meant to mean kids should learn the importance of being charitable at home. And that looking after your nearest and dearest should be your first priority before you extend your generosity elsewhere.

In practice, it’s selectively used to justify not sending money overseas.

Not that generosity shouldn’t have limits. Of course everyone’s got to be practical. And at the end of the day if there isn’t enough in your current account, your hands’ll be tied.

But given that we’re in a line of work that rewards you with either big lumps or a steady stream of disposable income every month, to what extent are you responsible for improving the world outside your front door – however far you consider that to extend – even a wee bit?

CSR mirror

That’s a question you can only answer looking in the mirror. It’ll differ from person to person but in reality, spontaneous good deeds just don’t happen by themselves.

I’ll jump on a table and salute anyone that organises a three peaks, or an iron man, or an intercontinental swim off their own back. I doubt I’d have the impetus. Kudos, the lot of you.

For the rest of us, business culture’s evolved a way for us to give back that doesn’t put us out too much.

And so CSR was born.

Corporate Social Responsibility’s nothing new. But since acronymising the phrase, it’s been companies preferred way to give a little back. And let’s be honest, from a marketing perspective it’s absolutely priceless.

Get a flyer up in the loos and email it to “All” advertising a bake sale. Have everyone turn up to the office in branded T shirts, slap a four-part story on the gram, a couple of backslapping posts on LinkedIn and you’re recruitment’s answer to the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

And I mean that in a positive way. Genuinely. Recruitment has enough of a PR problem without keeping fundraising efforts secret.

Agencies should be shouting about it. It’s a good thing.

CSR charity 1

“Recruitment’s a tough job”

Another well worn phrase. Whole articles have been written attempting to definitively unpack this singular premise.

It’s one of the most written lines in recruitment editorial because it’s true: the job we do is certainly difficult. Especially if you’ve hit that patch we all hit from time to time, where all you’re doing is dialling out. And all anyone else is doing is ducking your calls or hanging up on you.

Or you’re getting through to the right people but you’re being rejected harder and more frequently than Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

It’s a battle at times. And what can make it seem less of one, is giving back and doing something good.

You might not be thanked for it right away. But then again, you never are.

Only this time, you’ll know you’ve done something to support a good cause. And you genuinely can’t beat the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from it.


What does it mean for a recruitment agency to have a CSR program?

Honestly, it means more if they don’t.

It’s a sign the company’s doing well financially. Otherwise it’d be all hands to the pump, at all times.

Taking a day out for good causes says you can afford to do so.

It’s a massive net positive contributor to company culture.

And it’s good for building and solidifying teams.

And typical of all of these points are Arrows Group: Hunted partners with a passion for charitable giving that’s integral to their business.

Why’s fundraising important to Arrows Group?

We set up The Arrows Group Foundation in 2015 as a charity to raise money for various children’s causes around the world. The protection and support of vulnerable children is a cause that’s so important and needs all the support it can get.

Having a really clear, well planned approach to fundraising means we raise lots of money for those that need it most. But it’s also very inclusive internally. And forms a strong element of employee value proposition. It’s also a way of connecting with our customers in a different way to purely providing a service.

Arrows Group partnered with War Child this year.

They’re a charity purely focused on supporting children caught up in conflict zones. You’ll have seen their marketing at the time. It looked like this:

CSR WarChild

Donate Your Day

This is a scheme Arrows organised for World Refugee Day, which ended up with twenty companies all committing to working for free that day.

We had a lot of fun. Company BBQ for lunch, internal sales competitions, everyone wore limited edition War Child T-shirts then at the end of the day we held an event at Flat Iron square so everyone who had donated a day could come together and celebrate what we’d achieved.

The day’s salary each person gave is used to fund on the ground teams responsible for entering conflict zones, taking children out of harms way, ensuring their safety, and also that their rehabilitation and education can continue unhindered.

Each person that donated was responsible for putting between 2 and 4 children in care for over a year.

At the event in the evening, the team got to meet a young girl who’d survived conflict in Sri Lanka, War Child’s CEO Rob Williams OBE, and Marcus from Mumford and Sons, Arrows Group Foundation’s global ambassador.

What effect’s Donate Your Day had on the business?

It’s been great for team building, bonding the team round a cause that every individual can contribute to. Having a real cause that we can make a difference with helps build a narrative around our business and why we all work here – it helps bond the company around a shared purpose. We also had a lot of fun too!

So yes. Charity does begin at home. But should we leave it there? 

There’s definitely a case for bringing it to work. But then where does charity end?

That’s entirely up to you. But next time you’re job hunting, for yourself or your candidates, have a look at your target company’s CSR commitments. It could be nothing more than a nice to have. It could also be an indicator they’re doing brilliant things.

Does your current place of work do what it can to give back to the world? Or could you be doing more?

Would you like to?

If you’re the sort of person who’d give up a day of work for a good cause, click here.