Fujitsu and Shelter are working together to reach more people in housing. In July 2012, Fujitsu UK and Ireland selected Shelter as its charity partner of choice – with a goal to help the charity deliver on its ambitions of helping more people in housing need than ever before. The decision was made by Fujistu’s own employees, following a staff vote which saw an overwhelming 52% opt for the housing charity from a selection of three charities in total, in a poll open to 14,000 employees overall.
Fujitsu realises how important it is to invest in Corporate Social Responsibility and to set example as a responsible business and concentrates on five key pillars; Environment, Safety, Wellbeing, Inclusion and Social Action. After a successful Children in Need campaign last year, which raised over £46,000, Duncan Tait (CEO) and the Board of Directors were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm of our employees for charitable causes and decided we should be doing more as an organisation – and so we set about the application process to secure a Charity of the Year partner, the first partnership of its kind for Fujitsu.
Charitable giving is no longer solely about writing cheques but instead it’s about thinking outside the box and revolutionising the way large corporate organisations are able to support non-profit organisations. With this in mind, Fujitsu asked each charity about their IT needs during the pitch process – realising that we should be utilising our expertise; 25 years’ experience working with the UK’s largest retailers, to develop an innovative and strategic partnership which would deliver maximum benefit.
A vital part of Shelter’s strategic plan going forward surrounded an urgent need for modernised technology within their retail network so there was a natural fit. Fujitsu already works with many of the world’s leading retailers – including M&S in the UK. Once Shelter had been chosen, the two organisations entered a three month planning phase, where the senior management teams from both sides came together to create a joint strategy and business plan. These documents contain details of the touchstones we will use to guide our activities, and our key partnership goals are as follows;
- Fujitsu will help Shelter to modernise its shop network and connect more people to the charity’s housing and homelessness advice and support services. Fujitsu will modernise the tills, hardware, software and technology infrastructure behind the scenes to save time and increase efficiency. We will also help Shelter revamp its digital presence, implementing such as webchat within new stores to link customers to Shelter’s online advice service. Furthermore, Fujitsu will work with Shelter to increase the capacity of its helpline.
- Fujitsu will also support fundraising efforts in practical ways, by providing volunteers and promoting skills-sharing. An example of this activity is the Graduate Shop Challenge, which took place in five Shelter stores across London, Manchester and Wellington, near Telford, in September. Five teams of Fujitsu graduates developed business plans outlining how they would improve the stores, and started implementing the plans alongside Shelter store managers for the day.
The partnership launched in September 2012. We have some clear and ambitious objectives to achieve over the next two years but we also have the support of all our employees – as well as our Leadership Team – and I believe that is the key to making a partnership such as ours a real success. All stakeholders need to be fully on board.
Watch this space for updates about how we’re getting on!
Dulcie McDermott is Head of Charity Partnerships at Fujitsu UK and Ireland.
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