The FirstRand Volunteers Programme
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The FirstRand Volunteers Programme. “Businesses thrive where societies thrive – interdependent” OVERVIEW A brief history The programme structure The objectives of the programme Contributing to development in SA/the region? Strengthening the programme moving into 2012. A brief history

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The firstrand volunteers programme

“Businesses thrive where societies thrive – interdependent”


  • A brief history

  • The programme structure

  • The objectives of the programme

  • Contributing to development in SA/the region?

  • Strengthening the programme moving into 2012

The firstrand volunteers programme

A brief history interdependent”

The programme was launched in 2003 as a result of call to

action from President Thabo Mbeki, when he asked South

Africans “to become as society of volunteers and to rise

up and do something” in his State of the Nation address

in 2002

Since 2003 the employees have donated over R20 million in both

time and money to beneficiary organisations of their choice

34 200 staff - approximately 22% participation

The programme supports employees from FirstRand, First

National Bank, Rand Merchant Bank and WesBank

Match money from staff’s pockets

Match employee’s time (in own time and group’s time)

No-one forced to participate - about the passion and commitment

(Giving in group’s time – CEO discretion)

The firstrand volunteers programme

How does the programme work? interdependent”

Dedicated Business Unit at FirstRand level

Dedicated Division Volunteer Co-Ordinators

Division Co-Ordinator Committee

The FirstRand Volunteers Committee

FirstRand Group Drives – the momentum

Active business units in each division - countrywide

Training – Programme policies and procedures

The Matched Funding Programme

Acknowledgement and Recognition

Communication and PR

The firstrand volunteers programme

“To Help People to Help Themselves” interdependent”

  • To achieve maximum participation across all divisions of the group

  • Facilitate and support employee involvement in community across the divisions

  • Source beneficiaries for employees to support

  • Long-term meaningful relationships with our beneficiaries (2-3 years)

  • To encourage the sharing of “time” (knowledge and skills transfer) – our matched funding for individuals

  • Income generation programmes

  • Partnering/funding initiatives with PBOs to deliver quality services

  • No donations of cash – we purchase what beneficiary needs

  • The ROI – “making business sense”

  • Alignment to FirstRand Foundation Fund

  • Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Sustainability Reports

  • Good corporate governance

  • Supporting less organisations well

The firstrand volunteers programme

Contribution to development in SA/the region interdependent”

  • The FNB Commercial Lifeskills and Mentorship Programme

  • The FNB Banking Channels Mooiplaas Community Project

  • The WesBank Bottom Primary School Project

  • The RMB NPO/NGO Leadership Workshop

  • Volunteering support for our NPO/NGO partners to assist them with the following :- In an advisory capacity through our fund managers- Assisting with networking opportunities

    - Funding attendance at CSI conferences

The firstrand volunteers programme

Contribution to development in SA/ interdependent”

the region

Support in the Region

  • FNB Branches in the regionSwaziland (245 staff), Lesotho (3 branches and WesBank), Namibia (1814 staff), Botswana

    (19 branches), Mocambique (13 branches), Tanzania ( 2 branches), Zambia (191 staff /6 branches)

The firstrand volunteers programme

Strengthening the programme moving forward by creating : interdependent”

Better value for our employees :

  • Management support (time to drive programme outside of daily jobs)

  • Making funding available to pay for staff to experience volunteering

  • An accreditation for training workshop

  • An ONLINE training module

  • Employee focus groups/feedback/surveys

  • Our community conversation

  • Recognition of volunteer champions – through 360’s / performance appraisals

  • Dedicated and remunerated resources to drive the programme

  • Harnessing of skills realised by staff through volunteering – HR

  • Skills database from each division – volunteers to share knowledge and skills

  • To offer more specialised/exciting volunteering opportunities to staff

  • Opportunities to collaborate with corporate SA – in space of HIV/Aids/Education

  • Reporting (M & E, sustainability reports)

  • More sharing, documenting and PR in 2012

  • Using social media

    Better value for communities:

  • FRV Training Workshop to include “how to engage with community leaders”

  • Take education regarding banking services to communities– “consumer education”

  • Support for community income generation programmes

  • To encourage mentorship of enterprise development/small businesses

  • Networks / resources available in the business – take to communities

  • Corporate collaboration (depending on skills and expertise)

  • Volunteer readiness – a challenge

The firstrand volunteers programme

Strengthening the FirstRand Volunteers Programme : interdependent”

Better value for organisations :

  • Assisting beneficiary partners to become more attractive for more donor funding

  • Funding our beneficiaries to attend CSI conferences

  • Assisting beneficiaries with networking opportunities

  • The Programme Community Conversation

  • Monitoring and evaluation

  • Sustainability Reports

    Better value for volunteers (civil society and the youth):

  • Working with corporates to assist business case for government support

  • Access to job shadow opportunities at corporates

  • Access to mentors – young entrepreneurs

  • FirstRand are attending this conference to listen and find out how we can get involved - learning

The firstrand volunteers programme

Are corporates and their staff involved in “Employee Volunteering” for all the right reasons?

  • Responding to personal needs of the volunteer and not to the broader community needs

  • Adopting an ‘ag shame’ approach, based on sentimentality and need alone.

  • One-off volunteer actions

  • “Look at me philanthropy” – about the photo opportunity and not long term sustainability

  • A lack of accountability and reporting by volunteers

The firstrand volunteers programme

Challenges? Volunteering” for all the right reasons?

  • FirstRand Foundation – no cross border funding

  • Available funding in tough times – FR received more

  • Making resources available in corporate’s time


  • Competition between corporates / brand loyalty?

  • Collaboration with other corporates – we need to start

  • Government support, buy-in and involvement

  • To establish a Corporate Volunteering Forum / Committee in SA

  • Growth through recognition of volunteer initiatives (showcasing volunteer initiatives

The firstrand volunteers programme

Thank you Volunteering” for all the right reasons?