January 12, 2016

Karen Green: On answering the skills crisis facing small charities

Karen Green on answering the skills crisis facing small charities

Small charities play an important role to society. Worryingly, a study by the Foundation for Social Improvement in the UK last year discovered that small charities are struggling to get by without sufficient skills in HR, fundraising and communications.

Small charities need skills and support to continue helping communities. This is where companies, like BNY Mellon, can help. Companies like ours have access to a goldmine of talent that can be leveraged to benefit others.

I’m a passionate advocate of skilled volunteering and have experienced first-hand how the knowledge and experience of volunteers can increase the reach of charities and community organisations, closing gaps where paid resources are scarce.

In 2015, 25% of our employees’ volunteer hours across the company were considered to be skills-based, through providing skills support directly to the staff at a charity and to the communities they are helping.

In Italy and Poland, for example, our employees provide English tuition to our charity partners to help develop their language skills. And in the UK, we’ve held a number of training sessions on HR policy for a long-standing charity partner, helping them to develop their expertise and, in turn, their service delivery.

As our philanthropic strategy begins to focus more on workforce development, our employees will play a huge part in making new partnerships come alive by continuing to coach charity employees, as well as host CV workshops, mock interviews and career mentoring for those in need.

I’m excited to see the development of some new projects in 2016. Particularly the expansion of our successful primary schools (aged 4-11) reading scheme, broadening it to include a secondary school (aged 11-16) partner. Our goal is to help increase literacy levels in students with English as an additional language.

This project is another great example of how we’re able to use our employees’ skills to answer a direct need put forward by a community partner.

In other community partnership news:

Elizabeth Potier: On supporting our communities all year round

BNY Mellon's EMEA Chairman on Homelessness in London

BNY Mellon named as a Caring Company in Hong Kong for second consecutive year