Telstra in volunteering pushNovember 2008
The social foundation of the Australian communications group Telstra is to give A$400,000 ($248,000, £159,000) in grants to community organizations.
Under its Community Connection Programme the Telstra Foundation will provide A$1000 grants to organizations that have Telstra employees on their boards or management committees, and A$250 to those to which Telstra employees volunteer their services.
David Quilty, the foundation’s director and Telstra’s group managing director for public policy and communications, said: ‘We know anecdotally that Telstra employees volunteer their time and services to community organizations. When you consider that Telstra has around 34,000 employees nationwide, the amount of personal time Telstra people donate to the community is potentially enormous.’
Telstra is inviting applications from staff to take part in a pilot programme and the grants will be distributed early next month. The giving adds to a sum of nearly A$26million given to community organizations by the foundation since it began in 2002.
The foundation is also to continue its Community Leadership Programme, under which Telstra executives link up with community organization leaders and provide business advice and guidance.
Kate Christie, the Telstra risk and compliance director, who was partnered with Karenlee Spillane, chief executive of the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation in Queensland, said: ‘It’s been a fantastic opportunity and really wonderful to get an insight into a not-for-profit organization. It opens your eyes up to an entirely different world – the similar and different challenges. I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to work with a non-profit, adding some value through co-coaching.’
Kerry Graham, chief executive of the Inspire Foundation, said: ‘I’ve really enjoyed the programme and feel really fortunate to be a part of it. The time with the Telstra executives has been illuminating and the content has been incredibly relevant. The best parts were in the group settings – learning about other organizations in the field and their approaches. I gained a whole lot of contacts, resources and strategic tools.’
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