I had the great pleasure last Wednesday of launching the fourth City Giving Day which, I hope, will be the most successful yet.
City Giving Day, which takes place on 26 September this year, is an excellent opportunity to shine a spotlight on the immense, positive change the City can – and does – make to people who live and work in London and beyond. This exciting day of celebration will help to showcase the charities and communities supported by City organisations, while giving employees the opportunity to reflect with pride on what has been achieved and on what more might be done.
Last year’s City Giving Day was a great success. It was very encouraging that so many companies celebrated their workforce and engaged with each other. A record 211 businesses took part – amounting to over one-third of a million people. As well as celebrating ongoing community work, almost 4,000 new volunteers were recruited on the day and an extra £300,000 was donated to charity.
The City of London is the world’s leading financial and professional services centre. A financial powerhouse for business, it is occupied by over 450,000 workers and more than 16,000 firms. It’s an area where modern offices and historic buildings nestle side-by-side – and where we celebrate our rich history, our vibrant cultural scene and our wealth of opportunities for those who come here and work hard.
However, behind all of this and sometimes forgotten – or not given the credit that they deserve – thousands of people volunteer their time, and offer their skills or money, to support their local communities and help change lives.
At a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet, giving time or money to help others improve their lives has never been more important – and it is vital that we recognise these efforts.
The City can be portrayed as being too exclusively focused on money-making and wealth. Indeed, some of these criticisms hit home, but many are unfair. The City is a wealthy area, but it gives away so much more than is often noticed – and regards it as its duty to do so.
And that is why City Giving Day is important. It is one day of the year when businesses can unite to celebrate and showcase their charitable and volunteering efforts with employees, clients, suppliers and the public.
It is a simple initiative that is good for your business and its reputation, good for your staff, good for the City and good for your local community.
Last year, nearly half of all companies “went Red”. The #GoRed Campaign was a new idea in 2016 and it provided a focus for City Giving Day, making the day more visible to the rest of the City. We want to make this even bigger in 2017, so let’s paint the town – or in our case, the City – red.
City firms need to be articulate about the great work that they are doing – and about the work that still needs to be done. Together it is our responsibility to create a fairer, sustainable and more inclusive society – and it is the City’s responsibility to use its unique position to do more.
City Giving Day is only as good as its participants. So the road to 26 September 2017 starts here. Please sign up now!
Sign up for City Giving Day at www.thelordmayorsappeal.org