PwC has a long-standing tradition of investing in our communities. As an organization, we believe that we have a social obligation to provide support where it is needed. Engaging our people to get involved not only makes a difference in the lives of others, it enables us to better connect with one another, create stronger relationships across our many lines of service and develop our future leaders. Our goal is simple – to help build and empower community leadership. We support and motivate employee involvement in local neighbourhoods and across our global network through the following initiatives:
PricewaterhouseCoopers Canada Foundation
Our conversations in the community led to the creation of a five-year community plan that we finalized in FY2011 and began to implement in FY2012. The plan focuses on using our skills, voice and relationships to work with others and to influence and create tangible change to help make communities better.
We turned attention to four key areas:
We began to integrate new initiatives into our Volunteer Continuum, the strategy that helps guide our work in the community. For example, we created a series of webinars on the role of the not-for-profit board treasurer. We identified opportunities for skilled volunteer experiences for our employees where they could make a difference while developing their own leadership skills and capacity. And we helped fund national dialogues and round tables on issues impacting the not-for-profit sector.
We also fine-tuned the community scorecard we established in FY2011 and refined the output measurements from our community activities to prepare for a "Theory of Change" process to be completed in FY2013. This process will help us review our current strategy and look for the best path forward in reporting outcome and impact measurements associated with our community efforts.
In FY2012, we used our Volunteer Continuum to help map out the ways our volunteer programs enhance employee leadership skills while simultaneously maximizing their level of commitment and effectiveness within the charitable sector. We did this by introducing "skilled volunteering," an initiative that involves the use of an individual's professional skills but in an informal way that does not involve the delivery of a professional service. For example, our people provided life skills coaching to youth and taught financial literacy workshops to new Canadians. By formalizing this definition, we increased the number of skilled volunteer experiences from 5 in FY2011 to 46 in FY2012, accounting for 15% of total volunteer activities.
Our commitment to volunteerism continues. In FY2012, 2,287 staff and partners participated in 315 firm-led team volunteer initiatives contributing 17,100 total volunteer hours back to the community. We also took the next step and started to measure the socioeconomic outputs related to our volunteer experiences using the scorecard created in FY2011. Based on those metrics and in order to ensure we are creating positive change, in FY2013 PwC will undergo a "Theory of Change" process to help the firm think differently about its community initiatives and map out a strategy to maximize the social outcomes and impacts of its work, including measurement and evaluation methods.
In FY2012, 65 PwC employees were nominated for a Volunteer of the Year Award, a result that was slightly down from the previous year (FY2011: 81). Nominees were chosen from a pool of 145 recipients from our Volunteer Grant Program (FY2011: 220), who each received $300 awards for the not-for-profits where they volunteered and in recognition of their outstanding commitment to the community. Feedback from our employees suggests part of the reason for the lower numbers was the time necessary to complete the grant applications. Based on those responses, we will be simplifying the grant application in FY2013. As a further improvement, starting in October 2012, the Volunteer of the Year Award will be integrated into the firm's CEO Awards – the national employee awards program.
This will increase engagement and show employees that volunteerism and community commitment are key aspects of PwC's corporate culture and how we choose to conduct our business.
Sharing our knowledge
In FY2012, we partnered with Imagine Canada, Community Foundations of Canada, Philanthropic Foundations Canada and United Way Centreaide Canada to provide financial support for the National Summit for the Charitable and Nonprofit Sector. We brought together more than 500 participants from across Canada to engage in a dialogue about what is needed to help strengthen sustainability for charities and nonprofit organizations and to develop action plans for the sector's key priorities.
Based on what we learned, we worked with our partners to present a follow-up case study to the HR Council for the nonprofit sector, the country's premier source for HR management resources for not-for-profit employees, managers and board members. We convened funders from the public, private,corporate and government sectors to look at ways we can enhance the case for supporting HR issues and maintain this organization's intellectual property in light of funding cuts. We will continue this work in FY2013. One of our goals is to establish a strong, cross-sector funder network and a process to help strengthen our abilities to work together on each of the priority projects identified at the National Summit.
We also built internal capacity on this front, developing not-for-profit training and education for our own employees. We delivered webinars related to the basic responsibilities of a not-for-profit board director and the role of the treasurer to our employees, helping to augment knowledge and move people along our Volunteer Continuum. In FY2012, 238 PwC employees from across Canada served on a not-for-profit or registered charitable board of directors or board committee, representing a total of 397 directorships (including individuals who held multiple postings). These results are down slightly from FY2011 (337 individuals totaling 488 directorships) and are based on each individuals unique commitments with the boards they serve. In FY2013 the firm is committed to significantly increasing these results through in house training, education and board matching programs.
Other philanthropic initiatives
In FY2012, PwC awarded a total of $200,000 in grants to 49 registered charities across Canada in support of leadership and professional development. The Leadership Grants program is a PwC Canada Foundation initiative and is completed through a request for proposal once each year. We received a total of 387 applications—consistent with the 391 applications received in FY2011. The message is clear: charities need professional development funding.
Our own Foundation team attended round table discussions through the HR Council for the nonprofit sector to better understand what material information could be shared within this report, and to help augment the base of information related to training and development experiences that could be utilized by the charitable community. The social outputs, outcomes and impacts of the program are included in the report.
We also provided a total of $100,000 in grants to registered charities whose work focuses on strengthening organizational effectiveness and dialogues across sectors. We call this capacity building and it's a core component of our work.
All combined, PwC contributed a total of $2,399,000 in charitable donations and sponsorships to community organizations across Canada.
In FY2012, our employees raised a total of $2,200,000 for United Ways across Canada, up from $2,182,000 in FY2011. These funds were directed to the United Way Community Funds, which support strategies to help improve the social conditions in towns and cities across Canada by taking a systematic approach to addressing the root causes of social problems. We will be working with the United Way in FY2013 to understand how we can continue to direct our funds in a way that maximizes social impacts, and our CEO, Bill McFarland, is currently the co-chair of the United Way Major Individual Gifts Program.