In line with the group’s objective to be an effective corporate citizen, FirstRand launched a volunteer programme in 2003 to facilitate and support community involvement and active citizenship across the group’s businesses (FNB, RMB, WesBank, Ashburton Investments and FCC). Employees are encouraged and empowered to select and support registered organisations in their own communities.

Over the past three years, more than
2 800
employees have donated an average of
12 400
hours of their time each year to their chosen projects.

In 2018, employees across the divisions of the group registered and supported
40 ECD centres
106 non-profit
across multiple sectors.

Summary of FirstRand Volunteers in 2018

In 2018, over 54% of employee support was for schools, early childhood development and non-profit organisations in the education sector. The balance of support was across multiple sectors, such as animal welfare, community care, people with disabilities and youth development.

The programme’s annual school education drive assisted employees with financial support for under-resourced early childhood development centres, primary schools and high schools in their communities. Teams from 120 business units matched with 120 schools which qualified for the programme grants, resulting in a cumulative R1.2 million donation to uplift the education sector.

Volunteer teams assisted their chosen schools with the purchase of school shoes, uniforms, library books, stationery, sports equipment, educational toys, female hygiene products, winter jackets, nursery school box kits, interactive white boards, catering for tutoring sessions, classroom air-conditioning and new equipment for cooking classes. They also helped erect libraries, reading corners and jungle gyms, repaired toilets and revamped playgrounds.

Support for FirstRand Volunteers

The FirstRand Volunteers programme offers a structured, resourced programme, ongoing facilitation and support, a variety of volunteering opportunities, innovative group drives, ongoing training workshops, an intranet platform, matched funding (financial support) and an annual awards programme to inspire and encourage employees to participate.

Programme management sources organisations and initiatives for support. Employees are matched R1 for R1 for donations of both time and money to give back to their chosen beneficiary organisations. Various forms of internal and external division communication channels and platforms are used to encourage participation, including plasma screens, newsletters and division intranet sites. An annual awards celebration also broadens and inspires support.

How employees at FirstRand give back

The programme strives to offer employees a choice of volunteering opportunities to suit their different social interests, careers, workloads, lifestyles and personal commitments.

FirstRand employees are able to
  • coordinate volunteer programmes in their own business units;
  • join existing programmes and initiatives currently running in their business units;
  • volunteer in their individual capacity for an organisation of their choice;
  • share time, skills and knowledge, and assist with capacity building at non-profit organisations;
  • mentor high school learners and university students;
  • contribute to monthly payroll giving programmes; and
  • register for current group drive incentives.