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Are you CSR savvy?

For McDonald’s franchisee Robert Holdcroft, Corporate Social Responsibility is not just a business buzzword but an approach central to his company’s ethos

\"It’s not enough to just talk about the importance of fundraising within a company – it’s essential that you lead by example.\"

Robert Holdcroft

Since 2009 Robert Holdcroft’s six McDonald’s restaurants have collectively raised and donated £110,000 to his company’s charity of choice – Ronald McDonald House Charities. Add to this the 300 hours of personal time that Robert’s employees have given and an impressive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme begins to emerge.

In October 2012 Robert Holdcroft Ltd gained national recognition for the company’s fundraising achievements, winning three awards at the 2012 National Payroll Giving Excellence Awards including ‘Best Overall Campaign’ where his nomination was judged alongside large companies such as Boots, The Post Office and The Entertainer – making his win all the more impressive.

In winning such accolades Robert is not only strengthening his commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities but is also attracting the interest of other McDonald’s franchisees into the Payroll Giving scheme, a move which could increase the yearly donations to the charity by up to £1 million.
The franchise owner recently rolled out this donation method across his portfolio of six West Midlands-based restaurants, and he’s achieved impressive results too. Since launching the scheme in May 2011 he’s achieved a 68 per cent sign up amongst his 430 employees, with one restaurant boasting 98 per cent staff participation.

To date Robert Holdcroft Ltd has raised £15,797 through Payroll Giving to Ronald McDonald House Charities which, added to further fundraising activities (amounting to over £30,000) and sales contributions, has made him one of McDonald’s highest-achieving franchisee fundraisers this year.

Explaining his company’s approach to engaging staff into the scheme, Robert says: “When the decision to introduce Payroll Giving was made, we promoted it to employees as the equivalent to donating the price of a chocolate bar each week to a very worthy cause. This simple analogy seemed to strike a chord because within two months of the scheme’s inception we achieved 60 per cent take up amongst staff for Payroll Giving.”

Looking to the future Robert is focused on increasing the take up rate among his employees, and he’s confident that communicating the benefits of Payroll Giving at every induction will enable the company to achieve its ambitious 75 per cent target.

Robert’s philosophy with regards to the longer-term benefits associated with Payroll Giving is also explained: “Initially we set a relatively low sign-up target because we were aware that with a largely young employee base this could be their first experience of committing to a regular charitable donation, but that didn’t turn out to be a barrier to entry!

“We believe that if we help set a precedent at a young age then Payroll Giving will be something each employee would continue to do throughout their working career, a legacy of which we’d be very proud.”In-line with his company’s approach to CSR, Robert has put a great deal of personal effort and participation into a number of fundraising challenges with the most recent being a sponsored climb up Snowdon, raising over £2,000 for his local Birmingham House. He concludes: “It’s not enough to just talk about the importance of fundraising within a company – it’s essential that you lead by example. The results we achieve speak for themselves, and I’m delighted that we gained such impressive industry recognition for our contribution to Payroll Giving in the UK.”

Click here to find out more about this charity.

Written by Eleanor Miller