Ceridian Cares: The Road to Giving Away One Million Dollars!
By Lisa Bull, VP of Employee and Leadership Learning, Ceridian
The launch of Ceridian Cares, Ceridian’s own charity, shows the importance of listening to your employees. While our late President, Dave Mackay was a tremendous champion early on, it was by reaching out to our people and asking for input that lead to Ceridian Cares. Our people have always been generous, even before Ceridian Cares, but they wanted to have a more visible impact. With that direction and Dave’s support, we founded our own registered charity, Ceridian Cares. And we’re thrilled that since our beginning, we have given away over one million dollars in grants!
If you have ever been involved in starting a charity, you know that it’s not an easy task! We learned a lot through the process – here are some of our key learnings:
You need support from all levels – We were fortunate that from the beginning we had the full support of the Ceridian Executive team. Under Dave MacKay’s leadership, the team offered their advice, organizational resources, expertise, and unwavering support. And while the Executive support was essential, the work of starting and maintaining a charity would not have happened without the passionate involvement of employees. Over 90 employees from across locations and functions volunteered their time in the early stages of building Ceridian Cares, working on securing our charitable status, building our website, and planning our marketing and communication strategies. It truly took a village! Today, we operate 12 Ceridian Cares Committees across Canada, staffed by over 120 employee volunteers. These employees review the hundreds of applications we receive and make decisions about whether an applicant receives a grant and how much that grant will be. Our employees are at the center of the operations and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
You need a ‘captain’ to steer the ship – Kelly Allder took on the role of Executive Director of Ceridian Cares right from the beginning. In this volunteer role, Kelly took all of the ideas and recommendations about what our charity should look like, built out project plans and work packages, and became the main resource and ally of each employee volunteer as they took on tasks. Ceridian Cares would not have gotten off the ground as quickly and effectively as it did without Kelly at the helm. The good news is that she survived the start up period and agreed to stay on as Executive Director where she continues to guide our path forward. And just this year, Ceridian Cares welcomed our very first employee, Operations Manager Sook Convery.
You need a vision and mission that matters to your employees – When we began building Ceridian Cares our key focus was on helping people in our own communities – this is what mattered most to our employees. Today our mission statement is ‘to be an employee-driven charity that makes a difference by supporting people and improving the communities in which we live and work’. We do this by giving grants to Canadian individuals and families for basic needs (such as food, clothing, and shelter), as well as quality of life needs (such as medical equipment, home adjustments for barrier free living, and assistance for children’s activities). And, because Ceridian continues to cover the charity’s administrative costs and salaries, employees know that 100% of their donations go directly to these grants for people in need.
Ceridian and our people have always been generous in donating time, money, and resources to various charities. Prior to starting Ceridian Cares, Dave MacKay and a few other key Ceridian Cares founders began to notice that our charitable giving initiatives were missing a certain something. Passion certainly wasn’t missing but we couldn’t figure out what, so we reached out to our people and asked them for insight. Employees said they felt removed from the process – they wanted a stronger connection to the communities where they lived and worked. While they were deeply committed to raising money and contributing, they wanted to have a more visible impact; something they could see, feel, and connect with. Four years later and here we are, thrilled to have given away over one million dollars in grants!
We’re incredibly proud of the growth of our charity and of our amazing employees who raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to help others. If you’d like to learn more about Ceridian Cares and meet some of the families that we’ve been able to support, please visit www.ceridiancares.ca or follow @CeridianCares on Twitter to see up-to-the-minute updates on our day-to-day activities and accomplishments!
Note: While Ceridian Cares is our Canadian charity, we donate both time and money across our US offices as well. Learn more about our corporate social responsibility efforts on Ceridian.com
This blog is dedicated to one of the founders of Ceridian Cares and my dear friend, Dave MacKay. As my teammate Justine Kilby put it last spring when we were saddened with Dave’s passing, Dave “endeavored to leave a legacy beyond the company’s bottom line.” There was never a doubt before, but with this important milestone of $1,000,000 given away, we are sure that he did. As an organization we are fortunate to have dedicated people like him to continue the important work he pioneered.
Lisa Bull is Vice President, Employee and Leadership Learning at Ceridian. As an experienced corporate training specialist Lisa has delivered training to hundreds of clients across Canada and has designed and developed customized training programs for a wide variety of corporate, government and not-for-profit organizations. Lisa currently leads Ceridian’s North American Employee and Leadership Learning Team and oversees all Leadership Training Programs and the Talent Excellence Program. In addition to the development and design of these Programs, Lisa shares responsibility for Ceridian’s On-Boarding Program and mentorship initiatives. As a manager, Lisa has worked in broadcast communications, organizational safety and Employee Assistance Programs. Lisa has a Diploma in Broadcast Communications, a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Masters of Education in Educational Psychology. An advocate for “giving where we’re living”, Lisa serves as Co-Chair on the Ceridian Cares Board of Directors. Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaBull1.